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n 



Geclogical Survey 

mm. ALLEN SMITH, PH. D, DWir, 



IRC:! MAKING IN ALABAMA. 

SECOND EDITION 

WILLIAM BATTLE PHILLIPS, Pa D., 
Cu[iiiDltl!i£ CliGiQiil and Mmm\ 




'NTGOMEHY. ALA^! 

li 00., «T<»J'Bllt(TKM\>D"<K"L-n« 



I 



%* 
^ 



To Bis Excellency, 

Joseph F. Johnston, 

Governor of Alabama: 

Dear Sik : I have the 
honor to transmit herewith a Second Edition of Dr. 
Phillips' Report on Iron Making in Alabama. 

Very respectfully, 

Eugene A. Smith, 

State Geologist. 

University of Alabama, 

October 1st, 1898. 



f 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

Letter of Transmittal, 1-2^ Introduction to First 
Edition, 3-11. Introduction to Second Edition, 12-15. 

CHA.PTBR I. THE ORBS GENERAL DISCUSSION. 

Kinds of ore used ; no known deposits of Bessemer 
ore ; phosphorus in the ores used ; production of the dif- 
ferent varieties of iron ore in the United States; produc- 
tion of pig iron in the United States ; purchase of ore on 
analysi s ; improvement of the ores : production and valu 
of the ores in the United States and in Alabama. Pages 
16-34. 

CHAPTER II. THE HEMATITE ORBS — SPECIAL DISCUSSION. 

Classification ; the soft red ore ; vertical section of the 
seam of soft red ore ; analysis of the soft red ore ; the 
hard red ore , or limy ore ; analysis of the limy ore ; the 
brown ore, or limonite ; occurrence and mining, of the 
brown ore : analysis of the brown ore ; valuation of the 
brown ore ; mill cinder ; blue billy, or purple ore. Pages 
35-61. 

CHAPTER III. THE FLUXES. 

Limestone ; analysis of the limestone ; limestone being 
replaced by dolomite ; analysis of dolomite ; use of dolo- 
mite in the furnace. Pages 62-76. 






VI 



CHAPTER IV. FUEL. 



Classification ; chemical composition ; physical struc- 
ture; composition of ash; comparison with other cokes of 
the country ; statistics of coke ovens built and building ; 
coking in a bee-hive oven ; analysis of gas from a bee- 
hive oven ; changes undergone by coal in coking; yield 
of coke in a beehive oven; Alabama coal in Otto-Hoffman 
by-product ovens ; the Semet-Solvay by-product oven ; 
bee-hive and by-product coke. Pages 76t138. 

CHAPTER V. COKE FURNACES. 

Coke furnace practice on different burdens ; burdens 
of soft and hard red ore; burdens of soft, hard and brown 
ore ; comparisons of the various results ; consumption of 
raw materials ; consumption of coke ; cost of the raw 
materials per ton of iron; various data in regard to blast 
furnace practice with coke and charcoal. Pages 139-165. 

CHAPTER VI. PIG IRON. 

Ordinary grades made ; some Bessemer pig iron has 
been made but the supply of Bessemer ore is limited 
and the composition variable ; grades recognized ; nor- 
mal composition of the different grades ; new system of 
grading suggested. Pages 166-186. 



• . • / 



CHAPTER VII. COST OF PRODUCING PIG> IRON IN ALABAMA. 

Returns from the United States Labor Bureau ; inde- 
jpenydent r^liutaa ; dotaals of cost ; comparisons for three 
yeari. Pages 186- JOO. 



VII 

bHAFTBB VIII. boAjj JL^1> COAL WASHING. 

AW9^ of coals&elds ; coal production by counties ; aver- 
kge price oi coal at mines; statistics of labor employed 
a^d working time ; bituminous coal product of the United 
S^tatei^. vajrious data in regard to the coal mines of the 
Sjta^e ; opal washing ; list of coal washing plants ; results 
of washing Qo^l ; Jeremiah Head on the Birmingham 
district ; calorific power of coals; Landredth's results: 
independent results; comparison with other coals. 
Pages 200-246. 

OHAPTEB IX . CONCENTRATION OP LOW GRADE ORES . 

Magnetization and concentration ; use of Hoffmau 
concentrator; use of the Payne concentrator ; use of the 
Wetherill concentrator on non-magnetic ore ; excellence 
of results reached on low grade soft and limy ore , need 
of some system of using the large deposits of low grade 
ore ; observations on the situation in Alabama. Pages 
247-289. 



CHAPTER X. BASIC STEIQL AND BASIC IRON. 



The first production of basic steel in the State ; early 
experiments of the Henderson Steel and Manufacturing 
Company at North Birmingham ; results of the work in 
1888 ; chemical and physical qualities of the first basic 
steel made ; furnace charges; steel at Fort Payne ; steel 
made by the Birmingham Rolling Mill Company ; com- 
parison of the Birmingham steel with similar steels of 
northern make. Pages 290-344. 



Vltl 



CHAPTER XI. 

Coke furnaces in Alabama ; periods of greatest activity 
in construction ; production of coke iron ; charcoal fur- 
naces in Alabama ; periods of greatest activity in con- 
struction ; production of charcoal iron ; statistics of hot 
blast stoves ; rolling mills, steel works, pipe works, car 
works; statistics of production of pig iron, coal and coke ; 
freight tariffs on pig iron, etc. Pages 345-371. 



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL. 

(First Edition.) 
Dr, Eugene A, Smith. 

Director, Ala, Geol. Survey y 

University, Ala. 

Sir — I beg to transmit herewith a report on Iron Mak- 
ing in Alabama, prepared for the Geological Survey. 

No systematic attempt has yet been made to bring this 
industry to the attention of the general public. Numer- 
ous article, have appeared in the technical papers in 
this and other countries during the last ten years, deal- 
ing with special phases of the subject, and many of them 
possess great merit. In particular may be mentioned 
the following : 

The Iron Ores and Coals of Alabama, Georgia, and 
Tennessee. Jno. B. Porter, Trans. Amer. Inst. Min. 
Engrs., vol. xv, 1886-87, pp. 170-208. 

Comparison of some Southern Cokes and Iron Ores. 
A. S. McCreath and E. V. D'Invilliers. Trans. Amer. 
Inst. Min. Engrs., vol. xv, 1886-87, pp. 734-756. 

General Description of the Ores used in the Chatta- 
nooga District. H. S. Fleming. Trans. Amer. Inst. 
Min. Engrs., vol. xv, 1886-1887, pp. 757-761. 

The Pratt Mines of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Rail- 
way Co. Erskine Ramsay. Trans. Amer. Inst. Min. 
Engrs., vol. xix, 1890-91, pp. 296-313. 

Notes on the Magnetization and Concentration of Iron 
Ore. Wm. B. Phillips, Trans. Amer. Inst. Min. Engrs., 
vol. XXV, 1895-1896. 

A series of articles by E. C. Pechin, in the Iron Trade 
Review in 1888, and by the same author in the Engineer- 



2 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

ing & Mining Journal, vol. Iviii, 1894. The Proceeding of 
the Alabama ludubirial and Scientific Society, 1891-1897, 
contain raany valuable papers, as also the files of the Engi- 
neering & Mining Journal, the Iron Age, the Iron Trade 
Review, the Tradesman, Dixie, and tlie American 
Manufacturer & Iron World. 

But the very fact of their appearing in technical pub- 
lications has caused the general reader to neglect them, 
not on account of indifference, but because they were not 
readily accessible. The files of the great industrial jour- 
nals, and the Transactions of the American Institute of 
Mining Engineers are not available to many who wish to 
know what has been already done in Alabama, and what 
the future may confidently be expected to unfold. 

After careful consideration, it was decided to prepare 
a little book of 150-200 pages which should present the 
matter as it is to-day and chiefly from the standpoint of 
raw materials. Very little has been said as to furnace 
practice, because it was not in mind to prepare a Text- 
book of Iron Making. The book is intended for general 
distribution by the Geological Survey, and while the 
main purpose is to supply the average reader with easily 
digestible information, it is hoped that those who are 
actively engaged in the business may find in it some 
suggestions not altogether unworthy of their attention. 

Very truly yours, 

VVm. B. Phillips. 

Birmingham, Ala., May 1896. 









IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; INTRODUCTION. 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA. 

BY 

WILLIAM B. PHILLIPS. 



INTRODUCTION TO FIRST EDITION. 

During the last twenty-five years so great an improve- 
ment in the manufacture of pig iron and its utilization 
in more or less finished products has taken place in Ala- 
bama that it is now thought expedient to describe, as 
briefly as i^ossible, the conditions that have compassed 
the industry and that are still in force. 

In 1872» Alabama produced 11,171 tons of pig iron; 
in 1892, 915,296 tons. In 1880, the state produced 60,- 
781 tons of coke, and in 1892, 1,501,571 tons. In the cen- 
sus year of 1870 the amount of capital invested in the 
iron business, including mining, was $605,700, and ex- 
cluding mining, $566,100. In that year the total pro- 
duction of pig iron was 6,250 tons, valued at $21,258, 
and there were used 11,390 tons of ore valued at $30,175. 
In the census year of 1890 the capital invested in the 
mining of iron ore alone was $5,244,906, the amount of 
ore mined and used being 1,570,319 tons, valued at 
$1,511,611. 

The Southern States generally sell their entire iron 
product fo)* purposes other than steel making. The iron 
goes to foundries, mills, and pipe works. It was not 
until recently that any considerable amount found its 
way into steel works. It is not probable that more than 
one-twentieth of the iron made in the South goes to the 



4 OBOLOOICAL STTBYBT OF ALABAMA.. 

Bteel maker. Alabama offers no exception^ tb^ tbis rule. 
It was .not until the last few months that any fairly 
large shipments of iron made here were sent to steel 
plants. The significance of this statement will appear 
when it is remembered that the total amount of iron 
produced in the United States in 1895, not intended for 
steel making, was about 3,000,000 tons. At the present 
time Alabama is producing 35 % of the iron used in the 
foundries, mills, and pipe works of the country. The 
growth of the industry has been conditioned chiefly by 
three great factors : 

• First, the cheapness with which the ores can be mined 
and delivered. 

Second , the proximity of the ore to the flux and 
fuel. 

Third, the tendency of pig iron consumption towards 
the interior. 

The cheapness of an ore is not always to be measured 
by its cost at the furnace. There are also to be consid- 
ered its quality in respect of its content of metallic iron 
and the presence of ingredients which determine the 
use to which the pig iron made from it can be put. The 
lower the percentage of iron in an ore the cheaper must 
it be mined and transported iu order that a market for 
the pig iron may be secured and held. A very rich ore 
may allow of mining and transportation costs that would 
prevent the use of an ore less rich. The same principle 
applies to the quality of the ore as regards its freedom 
from injurious substances. If it be free from phosphorus 
and sulphur, for instance, it may be highly acceptable 
to the steel plants. If at the same time it be rich in 
iron we may have the conditions that allow of maximum 
cost at the furnace. In Alabama we have ores of mod- 
erate content of iron, and they must therefore be mined 
at a low cost. They also contain too much phosphorus 



IKON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; INTRODUCTION. 5 

to allow of the pig iron being used for making Besse- 
mer steel. 

The principle on which the makers of pig iron in Ala- 
bama have had to proceed is the utilization of local ores, 
and the production of suitable coke from native coal. It 
all seems plain sailing to us now that the yearly output 
•of coke exceeds one and a half million tons, and the yield 
of pig iron is above 800,000 tons ; but twenty years ago 
it was by no means certain that good coke could be made 
from Alabama coal on a large scale, and the use of Red 
Mountain ores was a vexed quesoion. As late as 1883, 
so-called representative analyses of Alabama hema- 
tite were published showing oG % and 61 % of iron on 
the one hand, while on the other it was said that pig 
iron made from Alabama ore and coke was so brittle 
that it ought to be kept under glass as a curiosity. Both 
these statements were equally removed from the truth. 
When finally it became known that with but few excep- 
tions the Red Mountain ores could not be expected to 
<;ontain more than 47 % of iron as mined and that the 
£fty-six and sixty-one per cent, hematite ores could be 
-exhausted in a single day, the situation rapidly im- 
proved. So far as the ores were concerned, the prob- 
lem narrowed down to the single question whether they 
<5ould be successfully used in conjunction with cokes of 
domestic production. From that day to the present the 
-question has changed but little, the main difference 
being that the price of ore has steadily diminished, 
Teaching its lowest point in 3895, and that the coke is 
ibetter and cheaper. During a part of this year the price 
of soft red ore, analyzing about 46 per cent, of iron, was 
fifty cents per ton, stock house delivery. It was during 
this year also that the cost of making pig iron in Ala- 
bama was at the lowest, less than $6 per ton. No more 
striking illustration of the great change that has come 



6 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

over the manufacture of pig iron in Alabama during the 
last years can be adduced than to say that the total cost 
of production is now less than the cost of the raw mate- 
rials five years ago. This has been rendered possible 
not only by reductions in the cost of the raw materials^ 
but also and particularly by improvements in furnace 
practice and a closer alliance between the chemist and 
the superintendent. There is a large iron company in 
the State which three years ago had uo chemist, and the 
laboratory which had formerly been tenanted had been 
allowed to take care of itself for two vears. The com- 
pany has now four chemists in its employ and one 
of the best equipped laboratories in the country. Three 
years ago it \vas content to have some of its materials 
analj'zed perhaps once a month ; now" the number of 
analyses per month is close upon four hundred. Chemi- 
cal inspection of the stock goes hand in hand with in- 
spection of the product, and there is now not a single 
thing used or made whose composition is not known. A 
great amount of material is bought and sold on analysis, 
and the inevitable tendency is towards the extension of 
this system to all materials. The most progressive com- 
panies in the State are now recognizing the value of 
close chemical inspection of the ores, fluxes, and fuels. 
In this respect the change that has come over the indus- 
try during the last five years is particularly noticeable 
and must be regarded as one of the most hopeful signs 
of the time. 

Another agreeable improvement in the business is the 
willingness of the iron masters to exchange information 
and opinions, to visit competitive establishments, and 
cultivate the more social side of trade. There need not 
he rankling jealousies between those engaged in similar 
enterprises in the same district. To refuse to impart 
information is to refuse to acquire it, and the day has 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; INTRODUCTION. 7 

long since passed when in the mind of any one man is 
to be sought correct knowledge on all phases of the same 
matter. Without such cordial interest in what may be 
for the general good, this sketch of the materials used 
in making iron in this State, however imperfect it may 
be and doubtless is, could not have been undertaken in 
any hope of success . My own acquaintance with the 
district dates from 1887, and since that time I have ac- 
cumulated nearly 10,000 analyses of every kind of ma- 
terial used in making iron in the State, coming partly 
from my own laboratory and partly from the records of 
companies actively engaged in the production of iron. 
The deductions that will be met with in the body of this 
report} are founded upon analyses that were made in the 
interest of those prosecuting the iron business, not upon 
analyses of stray fragments or hand specimens. They 
represent hundreds of thousands of tons of ore, limestone, 
dolomite, coal, and coke, the samples being drawn from 
the stockhouses during a period extending over many 
years. In numerous instances samples of the ore were 
taken direct from the mines, foot by foot down the seam j 
and from mine and railroad cars. The constant eflfort 
has been not to include in the pages of this report any 
conclusions that were not based upon th^ actual prac- 
tice in the State and district, and the reader is assured 
that no paina have been spared te accomplish this 
end. 

To those who have most generously given the infor- 
mation desired of them, I would express my hearty 
thanks. It is a source of great pleasure to me that the 
replies to requests of this nature should have been met 
so fully and so courteously, and that I trust that the in- 
terest in what the State has to offer to the makers of 
iron may be deepened and broadened from this at- 
tempt to set in order the results already attained. 



8 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

According to Swank (History of Iron in all Ages, 2nd 
Ed., p. 293, et seq.), who quotes from Leslie, the oldest 
furnace in Alabama was built about 1818. It was a 
charcoal furnace, and was situated a few miles west of 
Russellville, Franklin County, doubtless to use the brown 
ore of the Russellville belt, which is of excellent quality 
and is now used by the coke furnaces at Sheffield. It 
seems to have been abandoned about 1827, and from 
that date until 1888, a period of 60 years, this deposit of 
ore remained undeveloped and unused. Not long since 
there came to hand evidence of the existence of this old 
furnace in the shape of a piece of very impure iron 
which was brought to the writer from that part of 
Franklin county by a person who supposed it was iron 
ore. 

From 1827 until 1843, there is no record of any fur- 
nace building in the State, the next one being at Polks- 
ville, Calhoun County ; then one at Shelby, Shelby 
County, in 1848; and one at Round Mountain in 
1853. 

Charcoal iron has been made at Shelby almost con- 
tinuously since 1848, and the reputation of the iron 
has not been excelled from that day to the present 
time. 

The furnace was built by Horace Ware, who after- 
wards added a foundry and a mill for cotton ties and 
bar iron. This furnace was burned in 1858, but rebuilt 
at once. A larger mill was built in 1859, and iron 
rolled April 11th, 1860. This mill was very active 
during the war of the Confederacy, and was burned by 
the Union troops under General Wilson in 1865. It has 
not "been rebuilt, but a part of the machinery was used 
in constructing the rolling mill at Helena in 1872. It 
iliay not be amiss at this point, while briefly considering 
this historic furnace and mill to quote a very interest- 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; INTRODUCTION, 9 

ing letter written by Mr. E. T. Witherby, assistant sec- 
retary of the Shelby Iron Company to Mr. Swank in 
1888. *' The first blast furn&,ce erected here went into 
Wast in 1848. Horace Ware was its proprietor. In 
1S54, Mr. Robert Thomas made iron in a forge near 
iere. This iron was sent to England and returned in 
Tazors and knives. In 1859 Mr. Ware began the erec- 
tion of a rolling mill. It was completed and started in 
the spring of 1860. In 1862 Mr. Ware sold his prop- 
erty to the Shelby County Iron Manufacturing Com- 
pany, which erected a new furnace, the one which we 
have recently torn down, and on whose site we are erect- 
ing a new stack. The rolling mill was enlarged in 1863, 
and was operated continuously until March 31st, 1865, 
when it was destroyed by General Wilson of the Union 
^rmy. It was in this mill, in 1864, that the plates 
were rolled for the armor of the iron clad ram Ten- 
nessee. Judge James W. Lapsley, one of the stockhold- 
ers and directors of the present Shelby Iron Company, 
was made a prisoner by the Union forces in 1863, 
while in Kentucky looking for puddlers for this mill. 

**When I came here, nearly twenty years ago, we had 
plates, merchant bars, and strap rails on hand made en- 
tirely of Shelby iron and rolled in this mill. Some of 
the plates, known to us now as the * * gun boat iron ' ' are 
still in our store house, but they have been slowly dis- 
appearing under the demand of our blacksmiths for ** an 
extra good piece of iron for" * 'this job," or that ''particu- 
lar place./' Some of these plates are 8 inches by 3 in- 
ches, and othes 11 inches by 5 inches, and of various 
lengths; originally, they were, perhaps, 10 feet long. 
Shelby pig iron was also shipped to the Confederate ar- 
senal and foundry at Selma, Alabama, in 1864, where 
the Tennessee was constructed and fitted out. This iron 
^doubtless went into guns and other castings for this ves- 



10 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

sel. Catesby ap Jones was superintendent of the ar- 
senal, and with his senior in rank, Franklin Buclianany 
both pupils of that sea-god, Matthew Calbraith Perry,, 
wrought out the Tennessee. They were as fuU of pro- 
gressive ideas regarding steam and armor as their 
master, and nothing but the scanty means at their dis- 
posal prevented a much more formidable iron-clad than 
the Tennessee from being set afloat. 

**Car-wheel makers are the exclusive users of our 
iron." 

It is interesting to note in connection with the Con- 
federate States foundry at Selma, that it used coke made 
from the Gholson seam mined at Thompson's Lower 
Mine, on Pine Island branch, in Sec. 30, T. 24, R. 10 E., 
Bibb County, and elsewhere in the vicinity, as we are 
informed by Eugene A. Smith (Ala. Geol. Survey R'^- 
port of Progress for 1875, pp. 32 and 33.) This was 
about 1863, and is probably the first use of Alabama 
coke for foundry purposes. 

•'In 1863-64 Capt. Schultz of the Confederate army 
made a large quantity of coke from seams in the Coosa 
coal field, getting it to market by floating it down the 
river in flats to the railroad bridge across the Coosa 
River, whence it was carried by rail to Montgomery and 
Selma. The coke was said to be the finest ever made 
in the State, and to equal the very best English cokes. ''' 
(Smith ut supra, p. 38.) 

In 1825, there was a bloomarv near Montevallo, Shel- 
by County ; several in Bibb County in 1830-1840 ; one 
in Talladega County in 3842; two in Calhoun County 
in 1842. In 1856 there were enumerated 17 forges and 
bloomaries, about one-half being in operation and pro- 
ducing 202 tons of blooms and bar iron. The total 
product of charcoal pig iron in 1856 was 1,495 gross 
tons. 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; INTRODUCTION. 11 

In 1876 the Eureka Coke Furnace was built at Ox- 
moor, Jefferson County, by Col. J. W. Sloss, one of the 
most active iron-masters in the State, and the founder 
of the coke iron industry. This was the first furnace 
to go in on coke, and was followed in 1880 by the Alice 
furnace, built at Birmingham in 1879-80, by H. F. 
DeBardeleben, another noted name in the history of 
the iron trade in Alabama. Then followed the first 
of the Sloss furnaces at Birmingham, built by Col. 
J. W. Sloss in 1881-82. and put in blast April 12th, 
1882. 

Space would fail us to enumerate the names of those 
concerned in the early history of the coke iron trade in 
Alabama, but J. W. Sloss (who died in 1890), H. F. 
DeBardeleben. T. T. Hillman, and Geo. L. Morris, who 
are still enjoying the fruits of their foresight and en- 
ergy, will always be first called to mind by the histo- 
rian of the days, not long past as we measure years, but 
removed from us by a continuous series of splendid 
achievements. 

Si monumentum quxris, circumspice. 

Wm. B. Phillips. 
BiRMiNGMAM, Ala., May 1896. 



12 GEOLOaiCAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 



INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND EDITION. 

The very kind reception this little book has met with 
from the public has so nearly exhausted the first edition 
that a second is now thought necessary. It was the 
first systematic attempt to set in order the conditions 
under which the manufacture of pig iron has been pos- 
sible in Alabama, and although none realized its imper- 
fections more keenly than the author, yet they were 
errors of judgment and not of fact. With the exception 
of the introduction of double and in one case treble the 
usual number of tuyeres, the blastfurnace practice has 
not altered, materially, since the publication of the first 
edition in 1896. The same ores are being used, and the 
same coke. The use of dolomite , as flux, has steadily 
increased, so that it has now become the main fluxing 
.material in the Birmingham district. The cheap soft 
red ore is becoming notably scarcer, and there is more 
interest felt in deposits of brown ore, and in the possi- 
bility of employing larger amounts of hard, or limy 
ore. 

At least one new brown ore deposit has been opened 
in the Birmingham district, by the Sloss Iron and Steel 
Co., and is of great promise. The brown ore deposits 
near Russellville, Franklin County, now supply the 
Shefl&eld furnaces, and excellent results have been 
reached by Mr. J. J. Gray in the use of these ores. The 
brown ore deposits near Anniston have been reopened, 
and the Woodstock furnaces have been making a good 
record. The Pioneer Mining and Manufacturing Com- 
pany, with two furnaces at Thomas, have opened a new 
soft ore mine on Red Mountain, near Bessemer, and 



iRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; INTRODUCTION. 13' 

new openings on Red Mountain have been made by 
J. W. Worthington & Co. This latter company con-- 
tinues to mine excellent dolomite from the Dolcito* 
quarry, six miles from Birmingham. The JeflFerson 
Mining and Quarrying Co. , also mines excellent dolo^ 
mite, somewhat nearer the city, and the dolomite at 
North Birmingham has also been opened by The Sloss 
Iron and Steel Co. The Solvay Process Company, 
Syracuse, N. Y., is building 120 Semet-Solvay Recovery 
coke ovens at Ensley, to be operated in connection with 
the blast furnaces there, owned by the Tennessee Coal, 
Iron and Railway Co. It is thought that they will be 
in operation by the close of 1898. Messrs. Stein & 
Boericke, of Philadelphia, have built for the Jefferson 
Coal and Railway Co., at Lewisburg, four miles from 
Birmingham, a very complete coal washing plant, 
capacity 40 tons per hour. It is designed to wash 
slack, and as the company owns 137 bee-hive ovens it 
will enter the market for picked lump coal and washed 
coke. 

So far as concerns coke the Birmingham district is 
now well equipped. The Tennessee Coal, Iron and 
Railway Co., continues to use the Robinson-Ramsay 
washer at Pratt mines for Pratt Coal, and at Johns for 
Blue Creek Coal. The Standard Coal Co., at Brook- 
wood, Tuscaloosa county, uses the Stein was'her. The 
Sloss Iron and Steel Co., uses the Robinson-Ramsay, 
as does also the Ivy Coal and Coke Co., at Horse Creek, 
Walker county, and the Howard-Harrison Iron Com- 
pany, at Bessemer. 

The Campbell washer has been used by Messrs. 
Elliott & Carrington, at Jasper, Walker county. 

All the coke used in Alabama is from the bee-hive 
oven, but on the completion of the by-product ovens at 
Ensley some recovery oven coke will be used . 



14 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

So far as concerns the ore supply it is not possible to 
add to wliat has already been written. The chapters on 
ore will, therefore, not be materially changed. I have 
added, however, the paper on the magnetization of Iron 
Ore, read at the Atlanta meeting of the American In- 
stitute of Mining Engineers, October, 1895, and an ab- 
stact of a report made to the Wetherill Concentrating 
Company, 52 Wall Street, New York, on the magnetic 
concentration of the nonmagnetic ores of the Birming- 
ham district. 

The writer regards this latter process as full of promise 
for Alabama, as it appears to be entirely feasible to in- 
crease the iron in the low grade soft red ores from 
38 % or 40 % to 53 % or r)5 % , and to make proportionally 
as good a showing for the low grade limy ores, and the 
low grade brown ores. 

No attempt at concentrating the red ores is now being 
made, but it seems to be not out of place to detail what 
was done. That these ores will some day come into use 
through some methcd of concentration seems probable. 

The chapter on Fuels has been entirely recast, and a 
large amount of information gathered by the writer in 
his own laboratory in regard to the chemical and physi- 
cal quality of the various cokes has been added. 

A new chapter on Pig Iron has also been added, and 
many analyses of the various grades have been inserted, 
and anew chapter als) on Coal Washing, additional in- 
formation as to the coal industry, compiled from the 
reports of Mr. James D. Hillhouse, State Mine Inspector, 
has also been inserted, including the number of mines 
operated, the number employees, &c., &c. 

Having been consulting chemist for the Birmingham 
Rolling Mill and Steel Works since the building of their 
first basic open hearth steel furnace, the opportunity of 
adding a chapter on Steel Making has been presented. 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA; INTRODUCTION. 15 

My sincere acknowledgments are due to the above 
company for its kindness in permitting the publication 
of information not hitherto given to the public. Mr. 
David Hancock has been associated with me in the steel 
laboratory, and has been of the utmost assistance. 

In connection with the making of steel there will be 
found a full description of the manufacture of basic iron 
in Alabama, so far as concerns its chemical aspect, 
which is republished from The Mineral Industry, Vol. V, 
through the courtesy of the Scientific Publishing Co., 
New York. There has also been added a chapter on the 
<;ost of making pig iron in the State. 

This has been done to correct an impression that iron 
is made here for less than $5.00 a ton. It is no longer a 
question that the cheapest pig iron made in the world is 
made in Alabama, and it has been thought that a brief 
statement of facts in regard to the matter would not be 
out of place. 

The exportation of 218,633 tons of iron to England, 
Continental Europe, Japan &c, during 1897, as against 
65,000 tons in 1896 marks a new and hopeful develop- 
ment of outside markets for Alabama iron. 

Wm. B. Phillips, 

Birmingham, Ala., May 1898. 



16 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA. 

CHAPTER I. 

THE ORES : GENERAL DISCUSSION 



The ores used in the production of pig iron in Ala- 
bama fall naturally into two classes, and for convenience 
of reference the local names will be used with full ex- 
planations under each. They are either limoriites, the 
so-called *' brown ores," or hematites, the go-called soft, 
and hard ores. There are deposits of blackband ores 
and of magnetites, none of which, however, come into 
use. EflForts have been made to use the more or less 
bituminous blackband ores, both raw and calcined, but 
they were not successful. Several years ago an attempt 
was made at one of the coke furnaces to employ the raw 
blackband ore found in association with one of the coal 
seams in the northern part of Jeflferson County, but the 
furnace worked badly, probably owing to the very bitu- 
minous nature of the ore, and the experiment was dis- 
continued. The same ore was afterwards calcined in 
piles in the open air and a portion of the resulting ma- 
terial was of fair quality. But owing, it is thought, to 
the lack of care in the management of the business there 
was a gooddeal of trouble from the caking of the ore. 
In places it resembled impure iron and was almost malle- 
able. Nothing has been done in this direction for some 
time, as the available supply of ores that do not need 
such treatment is still very large. Practically all of the 
iron made in the State has been produced from limonite, 
hematite, or a mixture of the two. 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; THE ORES. 17 

For special purposes, as for instance, car wheel iron 
or some particular kind of iron destined for the pipe 
works, brown ores alone are used, although at times 
some admixture of hematite is permitted even, then. 
For ordinary foundry and mill irons, and of late for 
basic iron, the common practice is to use a mixture of 
brown and hematite ores, the proportion of brown ore 
being for the most part about 20 per cent, of the ore bur- 
den, although there are some important exceptions to 
this rule. 

It seems best to take up the ores under separate head- 
ings, that a fuller understanding of the subject may be 
reached, but before doing so some observations on the 
ores in general may not be out of place. 

In Alabama a vast deal of prospecting has been car- 
ried on for more than twenty years to ascertain if it 
were possible to find richer ores or ores of cheaper ac- 
cessibility. During the flush times several chemical 
laboratories were in active operation in more than one 
town and thousands of analyses were made of almost 
every known deposit. In many cases the samples were 
taken by interested persons and in many others by per- 
sons wholly unacquainted with the first principles of 
sampling ore seams. In the writer's own experience it 
has happened many times that a single piece of ore, not 
larger than the fist, would be brought in as representing 
the seam. In one case of the kind it happened that the 
ore showed a comparatively small amount of phosphorus, 
with some 46 per cent, of iron. Whereupon the report 
was circulated that a large deposit of Bessemer ore had 
been discovered and for a while speculators were busy. 
If therlB be any large deposit of Bessemer ore in the State 
it has not yet been found. There are places where some 
of the brown ores show phosphorus below the Bessemer 

limit, but fifty feet away they are liable to carry from 
2 



18 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

0.2(3 per cent, to 0.50 per cent, of this element. The 
same observation applies to certain seams of fine grained 
soft red hematite. Many seams have been carefully 
sampled and many analyses made in the search for ore 
that would not show phosphorus above the Bessemer 
limit, i. e., not over 0.05 per cent, for 50 per cent, of 
iron. But the conclusion has finallv been reached that 
for the present we shall have to confine ourselves to ores 
that contain from 0.10 to 0.40 per cent of phosphorus 
per 50 per cent, of iron, and in many of the brown ores 
we may expect a considerable increase over these fig- 
ures. It will not be denied that for a small furnace add 
with great care in the selection oif the ore, the chemist 
being constantly employed in analyzing for phosphorus, 
it might be possible to make Bessemer iron in this State 
from some of the brown ores, but no one could be ad- 
Tised to undertake the project with present lights. The 
attempt has been made and several thousand tons of iron 
with less than 0.10 per cent, of phosphorus were pro- 
duced, but the enterprise languished and has not been 
revived . 

The treacherous nature of brown ore with respect to 
the continuity of the deposit, is enough to forbid reason- 
able hope of success. 

The hematite ores, on the other hand, carry phos- 
phorus much above the Bessemer limit. They carry 
generally from 0.30 % to 0.40 foot phosphorus, al- 
though there is in the district contiguous to Birming- 
ham a small seam of red hematite that carries 5.41 % 
of phosphorus add another 2.31 %, the metallic iron 
being about 88 fo . 

In the early days of iron making in the Birmingham 
district it was the rule, according to one of the contract- 
ors, ** to mine aiiyihittg that was red," and what was 
mined went into the furnace. The dilfefeiice between 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA : THE ORES. 19 

good, bad, and indiflferent may have been known, but' 
was not a factor with the contractor or with the fur- 
nace manager. 

The following table page 20 taken from the excellent 
report of Mr. John Birkinbine on '*The Pr:duction of 
Iron Ores in 1897, U. S. Geological Survey, Division 
of Mineral Resources," shows the production and 
valuation of iron ore by states in 1896 and 1897. 

From this table it will be seen that Alabama ranked 
third in the production of iron ore. 

When one considers that Alabama converts practically 
all of her ore into pig iron she is easily first among the 
states in the local consumption of her product. The 
amount of iron made in the state from outside ore is in- 
significant. Michigan, the largest producer of ore, 
made in 1897 only 132,578 tons of pig iron, and Min- 
nesota, the second largest producer made none at all. 

Alabama is also third in the production of red hema- 
like ore, Michigan and Minnesota being first and second. 
Virginia is the first in the production of brown hema- 
tite, and Alabama second, with Tennessee a close third. 

No magnetic ore or Jcarbornate ore is mined in the 
State, although there are considerable deposits of both 
these varieties. 

It is of special interest to know that the group of 
mines on Red Mountain between Grace's Gap and 
Reeder's Gap, including the Alice, Fossil, Muscoda, 
Redding, and Ware's was the largest single producer in 
the Urlited States in 1896 with 945,805 tons. 

In connection with this table it would be of interest 
to give one showing the pig iron produced in 1896 and 
1897 by states, from the report of Mr. James Swank, 
manager American Iron and Steel Association, 1897. 



GBOLOGIOAL 8DETBY Of' ALABAMA. 



3 o : 

^ HE 



.sgasssSsSsgs 









ii=- 






J.SiSsI 58 



.1" 



■-*.fe S" £ ffl £■! b5 oP i 5 



51 



\n 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; T.IK OKB3. 



21 



TABLE II. 
PRODUCTION OF PIG IRON IN 1896 and 1897, BY 

STATES. TONS OF 2,240 LBS. 



1896 



1897. 



Pennsylvania 4,024,166 . . . 

•Ohio 1,196.326. . . 

Illinois 925,239. . . 

Alabama 922,170. . . 

Virginia 386,277... 

Tennessee 248,338. . ; 

ISfew York 206,075 . . . 

"Wisconsin 158,484. . . 

^Michigan 149,511. . . 

West Virginia 108,569. . . 

Maryland; 79,472. . . 

Kentucky 70,660 . . . 

2^^ew .Jersey 59,163 . . . 

•Colorado 45, 104 . . . 

•Georgia 15 ,593 . . 

Missouri 12,548. . . 

•Connecticut 10,187 . . . 

2?orth Carolina 2,151. . . 

Massachusetts 1 ,873 . . . 

Texas 1.221... 



4,631,634 

1,372,889 

1,117,239 

947,831 

307,610 

272,130 

253 ,304 

103,909 

132,578 

132,907 

193 ,702 

35 ,899 

95,696 

6,582 

17,092 

23,883 

8,336 

« • • • 

3,384 
6,175 



Total 8,623,127. . . .9,652,680 

The largest production of pig iron in any one year 
iv^as in 1897. 



The principles underlying the valuation of iron ores 
are but little used in the State, the old system of pur- 
chasing by the ton still being maintained. The value 



22 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF'^ALABAMA. 

of an ore is the price at the mine, for, unless the miner 
also pays the freight, he has already added to the cost 
of mining all the legitimate costs that should apply to 
a ton, including royalty. If his contract require that 
he pay the freight, he cannot rea^^onably add the freight 
to the value of the ore, for this varies with the distance 
it has to be transported. 

With the exception of some brown ores, which are 
purchased on the unit basis, but which constitute a small 
part of the ore used, and some special contracts relating 
to hematite, the ores in Alabama are bought by the ton 
without regard to their composition. The price is so 
much per ton, whether they carry forty, or forty-three, 
or forty seven, or fifty per cent, of iron. 

This system has but little to recommend it, except a 
mistaken notion of economy in the saving of laboratory^ 
expenses and sampling- A close inspection may be kept 
on the ore as received and daily reports made as to its 
composition, but unless there is a penalty attached to 
the shipping of poor ore, there is really no way in which 
it can be stopped. The price is uniform, no matter 
what the ore may be. It may be improperly mined, it 
mii\ contain unusual amounts of water, or clay, or chert, 
but the price is the same to the furnace. A car load of 
or may contain 47 % of iron to-day, to-morrow the ore 
frotn the same mine may contain only 43 %, yet the 
pi K-e i<^ the same. A brown ore may reach the furnace 
Wit' its customary 7 % of water, to-morrow it may have 
13 % , yet the ore is sold by the ton and the water is 
counted as ore. 

There are two main results from this system : First, 
th contractor is not impelled to furnish ore any better 
than would be accepted. His sole aim is to avoid disputes 
with the furnaceman by sending ore that indeed could be 
better but still will pass muster. There may arise under 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; THE ORES . 23 

this condition of affairs a tendency towards careless 
mining, and if the line between acceptable ore and bad 
ore be an arbitrary one, as is frequently the case, there 
is a temptation to *' put the shot down " a little bit 
deeper than the line of separation. In the mining of the 
soft red ores by open cut, the over-burden having been 
removed, it is practically impossible to distinguish be- 
tween ore of 46 % iron and ore of 40 % simply by the 
eye. The chemist alone can decide the question. It i& 
a fortunate circumstance, in the Birmingham district, 
that for the most part the contractors are fully alive to- 
the advantages of shipping ore that will cause no dis- 
pute. Under the present system it is difficult to see 
how they could ship better ore than they do. But the 
system itself is wrong in principle. The administration 
of it may be as fair to the coatractor as to the furnace > 
but this does not do away with the main objection to it,, 
which is, that the same price is paid for ore that is^ 
barely usable as for ore that is really good. It cannot 
be denied that this objection is valid and that until it 
is removed the true principle underlying the valuation 
of ores can not be put into practice. 

The second result from the system of purchasing ore* 
by the ton and not on analysis is that the furnacemaii 
cannot know that his ore to-day is of the same com- 
position as it was yesterday and will be to-morrow. 
The purchase of ore on analysis does not necessarily 
condition regularity of stock, but it is a long step to- 
wards this most desirable end. It is more than prob- 
able that under it there would be a tendency towards the 
higher grades of ore, for these would be more profitable 
to the contractor than the lower grades. 

The irregularity in the stock is one of the most serious 
obstacles with which the Alabama iron master has to 
contend, especially when he is using Red Mountain ores. 



24 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 

The most untiring vigilance is demanded in order that 
the entire make of the furnace shall not be injuriously 
afifected. It is of course the fact that a great dbal of ex- 
cellent iron has been made in the State without calling 
into constant requisition the services of a chemist. But 
this is no more than saying that many a case of illness 
has been cured without the care of a regular physician. 
We venture the assertion that even under the present 
insufficient system a lower cost account for the making 
of iron would be shown by the companies employing 
chemists than by the others. By far the greater amount 
of iron now made in Alabama is the product of com- 
panies with well equipped laboratories, and some of the 
most important sales of iron ever consummated in the 
State were, to a great degree, brought about by the fact 
that the laboratory could be depended upon not only for 
the inspection of the product, but also and particularly 
for the inspection of the stock. 

Uniformly good iron can not be made at a uniformly 
low cost with irregular stock, and variations in the cost 
of the iron are to a considerable extent due to variations 
in the composition of the raw materials. Pay close at- 
tention to. what goes into the furnace and tapping hole 
will take care of itself. It is a poor policy to fill the 
furnace with almost anything that may be to hand and 
trust Providence to look after the cast-house. 

There is nothing in the nature of the ores used that 
forbids their sale on analysis, and as this system is al- 
ready applied to nearly all the flux used, and to a not 
inconsiderable quantity of coke and ore, the extension 
of it would not appear to offer insurmountable diffil- 
culties. The greater part of the cost of making iron is 
borne by raw materials. The quality of these materials, 
therefore, and their regularity of composition are of 
vital importance. As respects composition, there is a 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; THE ORES. 26 

point beyond which it is not possible to make iron profit- 
ably, no matter what the price of the materials may be . 
-How low this point may be will depend, ceteris paribus, 
upon the difiference between the cost of the iron and its 
celling price. When this difference is considerable, as 
^was the case in this State ten or fifteen years ago, iron 
may be made- at a profit from very inferior materials. 
But when the margin of profit is narrow, as has been 
the case of late years, the use of inferior materials be- 
comes impossible. With increasing competition and a 
narrowing selvage of profits, the necessity for using 
better and better ore becomes more and more pressing. 
To keep the furnaces in blast and avert disaster from 
the district, it may happen that the price of ore will fall 
below the figures at which it can be mined profitably, 
unless the operations be conducted on a very large scale 
and long time contracts can be made, assuring a steady 
output for a number of years. Under such conditions some 
concessions may be made by the furnacemen in respect 
to quality, but at the same time they would be warrant- 
ed in holding out for uniformity of composition. One 
would be inclined to consider the uniformity of compo- 
sition as more important than the quality, provided al- 
ways that this would not entail too much handling of 
stock per ton of iron made. When ore is sold for stock- 
house delivery at a fraction over a cent per unit of iron, 
it would seem that no further reduction in price could be 
expected. 

Under all circumstances, except such as embody the 
sale of the ore at so much per unit of iron , there will be 
complaint by the furnaceman that the ore is not as good 
as it might be, and it will be met by the miner with the 
assertion that it is as good as it can be at the price paid 
for it. This may, indeed, be true, but at the same time 
it il3 not to be hastily concluded that for more money the 



26 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

miner is willing to guarantee better ore. For the most 
part his endeavor is to get the largest possible returns 
from the smallest possible outlay, a resolution in the 
highest degree laudable but apt, at times, to cause more 
or less friction as to shipments. To him a ton of ore i& 
a ton of ore. It weighs 2,240 pounds, and whether it 
contains fifty per cent, of iron or forty-five he receives 
the same pay. But to the furnaceman, who has to con- 
sider the amount of iron he can get from that ton and 
the ease with which he can do it, the question is of an- 
other kind. 

There is a side of the matter not yet touched upon^ 
but which can not be neglected. If the higher grade 
ore only be mined, the exhaustion of the deposit is cer- 
tainly set forward. It rarely happens that all of a deposit 
is high grade ore. and if only the best be in demand one- 
has to cut his cloth to suit the pattern. The miner may 
have incurred large expense in opening the mine and in 
equipping it with proper machinery under the expecta- 
tion that his output would be profitable to him. If he 
be restricted to a certain portion of the ore and this be 
below the amount required to yield a profit on the in- 
vestment, he would be subjected to hardships not toler- 
able under ordinary conditions. He is quite willing: 
to encourage the belief that it is cheaper to use a large 
amount of low priced, low grade ore than to pay more 
for better ore of which not so much is used. In the 
minds of some whose opinions should be worthy of con- 
sideration the value of a fifty per cent, ore is propor- 
tional to the value of a forty-five per cent, ore, and they 
argue that as the lower grade material can be bought 
for fifty cents per ton, or 1.11 cents per unit of iron, the 
better grade material is worth proportionally more, or 
55.5 cents per ton. They forget that the valuQ of an ore 
increases very rapidly as one nears the fifty per cent^ 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; TTIE ORES. 27 

mark. As a matter of fact, if a forty-five per cent, ore 
be worth fifty cents, a fifty per cent, ore is worth 83 
cents, that is, it will cost as much to make a ton of iron 
from the one at 50 cents as from the other at 83 cents- 
Above fifty per cent, the difference becomes even more 
striking. 

Attempts at improving the quality of the ores used in 
the State have been confined so far almost entirely to the 
brown ores, although it is possible to better the soft red 
ores to a very considerable extent also. A description 
of the methods in use will appear under each kind of 
ore, so that it is merely necessary here to direct atten- 
tion to the matter in a general way. 

The ore that most readily lends itself to processes of 
beneficiation, without any very heavy expense, is the 
limonite or brown ore. Occurring, as it does, as more 
or less isolated masses imbedded in clay, it was compar- 
atively easy to devise machinery that would treat the 
entire mass of stuff, removing the clay by suspension 
in water and passing the cleaned ore over screens of ap- 
propriate sizes. In this matter the clay, unless it was 
of a very plastic nature, was removed from the ore, the 
wash water being collected in settling dams and again 
used,^ after the clay haa been deposited. The process 
was crude at first and the ore was insufficiently cleansed, 
but of late years it had been much improved and can 
now be depended on to furnish fairly good ore from 
even the more tenacious clays. 

At some establishments it has been customary to im- 
prove the brown ores still further by calcining the 
washed ore in open piles with wood or charcoal *' breeze" 
as fuel, and, later, in gas fired kilns. In this manner 
the ordinary water is completely removed, and the com- 
bined water, which does not go off under a full red heat, 
to an extent depending on the temperature and the dur- 



28 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 

ation of the firing. Washed brown ore carrying 44 per 
cent, of iron has been greatly improved by calcining, 
the iron in the calcined ore being as high as 54 to 56 
per cent, over a period of several months. 

While it is now customary to wash nearly all the brown 
ore used in the State, but little calcining is done. The 
reasons for this practice will appear under the discus- 
sion of the brown ores, and it will be shown that unless 
the deposit is known to be large or the demands upon it 
not very exacting as to quantity, the erection of calcin- 
ing kilns could not be expected to yield much return on 
the investment. 

For improving the soft red ores several plans have 
been proposed, but none of them have worked their way 
into actual use on a large scale, although at least one of 
them may now be said to have passed the experimental 
stage. It was proposed to wash the lower grade soft 
red ores in such a manner as to remove the more ferru- 
ginous material from the more sandy portion and to re- 
cover the ore in setting dams. Some experiments were 
very successful as regards the possibility of concentrat- 
ing the ore, but the large amount of water required at 
points where it was expensive to get and the impracti- 
cability of handling large quantities of damp ore that 
would certainly fall into the finest powder as soon as it 
was charged into the furnace have caused the investiga- 
tion to be postponed. 

During the last two or three years extensive experi- 
ments have been made with the hope of concentrating 
these ores magnetically. Two plans have been propos- 
ed. First, to render the ore magnetic by raising it to a 
full red heat in a properly constructed kiln and then 
passing a reducing gas over it so as to convert the ferric 
oxide into the magnetic oxide. Subsequent crushing 
and sizing would bring the ore into a condition in which. 



IRON MA:^tNG IN ALABAMA ; THE ORBS. 29 

it could be treated over a magnetic separator, the sand, 
etc., being removed by centrifugal action. 

The other plan for magnetic concentration of these 
low grade soft ores is to dry them thoroughly, crush and 
size and pass over a magnetic belt which will pick up 
the more ferruginous portions and allow the more sandy 
portions to fall away into suitable receptacles. 

Both there processes will be described in the chapter 
on The Concentration of Ores. 

On the whole, therefore, it may be said that in actual 
practice the only ores subjected to a process of beneficia- 
tion on a large scale are the brown ores. Practically 
all of the pig iron made in Alabama is obtained from 
native ores. In this respect the situation is quite the 
reverse of that found in Ohio, which with a pig * iron 
production of 1,463,789 tons in 1895, and 1,196,326 tons 
in- 1896, probably did not derive more than 3 % of it 
from native ore. The only ores brought into Alabama 
for any purpose are some brown ore from Georgia, a 
little *' spathite " ore from Tennessee, and Lake ore for 
use as '* fix *' in the rolling mills. 

The production and value of the ore mined in the 
State, so far as canfnow be ascertained, are given in the 
following table, compiled from the reports of Mr. John 
Birkinbine to the United States Geological Survey, Di- 
vision of Mineral Resources, from the census returns and 
from independent sources. 



30 



GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 



TABLE III. 
PRODUCTION AND VALUE OF IRON ORES IN 
ALABAMA AND THE UNITED STATES. 



ALABAMA. 



UNITED STATES. 



Tons. 



Value. 



Per 
Ton. 



1850 

1860 

1870 

1880 

1881 

1882 

1883 

1884 

1885 

188.? 

1887 

1888 

1889 

1890 

1891 

1892 

1898 

1894 

1895 

1896 

1897 



^^38 ^ 3.68 



Total. 



Per 

cent 
of 
Pro- 
duc- 
tion. 



Value. 



Tons. 



Per 
Ton. 



Total. 



' 



3,720 
11,350 

171,189 

220,000 

250,000 

385.000 

420,000 

505.000 

650,000 

675.000 
1,000,000 
1,670,000 
1.897,815 
1,986,830 1.00 
2,312,071 1.06 
1,742,410 1.861 
1,493,086| 083 
2,199,390 0.80 
2,041,7931 0.69 
2.098.621' 74 



6.31 
2.66 
1.18 
130 
1.20 
1.20 
1.00 
1.00 
0.96 
0.96 
0.96 
0.96 
1.00 



6.770 

19.765 

30,175 
201,865 
286,000 
300,000 
462.000 
320,000 
505,0001 6.6 



624.000 
64K,000 
960,000 
1,507,200 
1,897.815 
1,986,830 
2,442,575 
1 ,490,259 
1,240,895 
1,759,512 
l.il7,451 



1.546.548 11. 9 



0.12 1,579,318 
0.15 2,401,485 
21 5.302,952 
2.3 7,497,509 
24 9,094,369 
2.8 9,000,000 
4.6 8,240.59^ 
5.1 8,200,000 
7.600.000 
10,000,000 
11,300.000 
12,060,000 
14,518,041 
16,036.0431 
14,591,178' 
16,296.666! 
U. 587,6-29 
11,879,679 
15,957,614 
16,005,449 
17.518.046 



6.5 
60 
8.3 
10.9 
11.8 
136 
14.2 
15 
12.6 
13.8 
12.8 



4.23 

5.31 

5.63 

3 09 

2.97 

3 60 

8.00 

2.75 

2.60 

280 

300 

2.40 

2.30 

2.20 

2 10] 

2.04 

1.66 

1.14 

1.14 

1.42 

1.08 



6,981,679 
12,757.848 
29.843,420 
23,156,956 
27,000,000 
;^2,400.000 
24,750,000 
22,650,000 
19,000,000 
28,000.000 
33,900,000 
28,944,000 
33,361,978 
35,279,394 
30.641.473 
33,204,896 
19,265,973 
13,577,325 
18,191,679 
22,788,069 
18.953.221 



For a number of years Michigan has held the first 
place as a producer of iron ore, Minnesota coming up 
from the 6th place in 1890 to the second place in 1894, 
1895 and 1896. 

It is not likely that Alabama's rank as third in the 
production of iron ore will be interfered with for some 
years. 

She held the second place from 1889 till 1894, when 
she was surpassed by Minnesota, and Pennsylvania the 
third place until 1892 when Minnesota came up to the 
second place. It is not likely that the relative positions 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; THE ORES. 31 

will be changed for some years. The immensity of the 
Mesabi ore deposits and the cheapness with which they 
are mined will, perhaps, keep Minnesota in the second 
place for the next two years, if indeed she does not push 
Michigan for first place within that time. Michigan 
does not produce much pig iron, the output being 132,- 
578 tons in 1897. Minnesota made no iron in 1894, nor 
in 1895, nor 1896. The difficulty of procuring good coke 
at that distance from the coal fields has hitherto pre- 
vented these States frond converting their ore into iron, 
and the tendency seems to be more and more to reduce 
the cost of these ores to Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania 
furnaces. But it is a wise man who prophesies concern, 
ing the iron*trade in this day of rapid industrial changes. 
It would appear, however, that Alabama will have to 
face competition from furnaces much nearer than Michi- 
gan and Minnesota. It is just here that questions of 
transportation play the really vital part. So long as the 
rich Lake ores can be hauled to Ohio and Pennsylvania 
furnaces and converted into pig iron which can be sold 
profitably for half a cent per pound, the situation in 
Alabama will be one in which the cost of transporting 
the iron to market after it is made is the main question. 
With the Northern and Eastern furnaces the great 

• 

question is the cost of gathering the raw materials into 
the stockhouse. In Alabama the great question is the 
cost of marketing the pig iron. With better ore, better 
coke, and better furnace practice it may be possible even 
in Alabama to reduce the cost of making iron, but the 
transportation companies will control the situation then 
as thev do now, unless a closer union can be effected be- 
tween the two interests. 



82 GBOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

According to the Iron Trade Review, Cleveland, Ohio^ 
the Lake shipments of iron ore in 1892, were 8,645 ,31S< 
tons ; in 1893, 5,836,749 tons ; in 1894, 7,621,620 tons ; in 
1895, 10,234,910 tons; in 1896, 9,916,035 tons, and im 
1897, 12,457,002 tons. These figures mean that consid- 
erably more than half of the total amount of iron ore 
mined in the United States is transported by water to- 
the vicinity of the furnaces using it. Were it not for 
this fact the enormous development that has been 
reached in the Lake regions, with respect to the mining: 
of iron ore, could not have been attained within so short 
a time, if at all. 

In order to exhibit the relation that Alabama sustains 
to the other iron ore producing states, in respect to the 
value of the ore mined, the following table taken from 
the reports of Mr. John Birkinbine to the U. S. Geo- 
logical Survey, Division of Mineral Resources, is ap- 
pended . 



IBON IIAEINO IN ALABAMA : THB ORBS. 



88 



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GBOLOGICAL SUBVKY OF ALABAMA. 



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W)« 



IRON MAKINiO IN ALABAMA ) THB H-BMAtlTBS. 35 

CHAPTER II. 

THE ORES : SPECIAL DISCUSSION. 
THE HEMATITES. 



In the discussion of the hematite ores we shall have 
to exclude the brown hematites as they properly belong 
to the limonites, although often mis-called by the former 
name. The limonites are locally termed ** brown ores" 
and the output is about 25 per cent, of the total ore pro- 
duction of the State. They will be discussed under tfieir 
proper heading. 

The hematite ores are, for convenience, classed under 
two heads : 

First, the soft red ores, carrying but little lime ai^d 

Second, the *' hard red *' ores carrying from 12 to 20 
per cent, of lime and in many cases self-fluxing, that is, 
they carry enough lime to flux the silica contained in 
them. 

In order that a clear understanding of the matter may 
be had at the outset the following brief description of 
the geological and topographical feature of the deposit 
of hematite ores so largely used in the State is given 
here. 

They belong to the Clinton formation of the Silurian, 
which extends with some breaks, from the middle por- 
tion of Alabama to the northern part of Maine. They 
are overlaid by chert, sandstones, and clays, the over- 
burden at places reaching a depth of forty and fifty feet. 
The seams now worked vary in thickness from 3 to 25 
feet, run in a north-east direction and dip towards the 
south-east at angles varying f :om 15 to 22 degrees, the 
dip increasing as one goes towards the south-west. For 



86 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY Ot ALABAMA. 

the most part they occupy the crests of the hills, the 
outcrop forming a striking and persistent feature of 
the landscape for several miles in the vicinity of Bir- 
mingham. 

The Soft Ores. 

As a rule, to which, however, there are some import- 
ant exceptions, the outcrop is '* soft red," a term of com- 
parative significance only as the ore;is quite firm and has- 
to be won by regular blasting operations. It is soft as^ 
compared with the limey or ''hard red'* ore. The soft 
ore may extend from the outcrop for a distance of 300 
feet on the dip, depending on the thickness and imper- 
viousness of the cover, although the hard ore comes to 
the surface at more than one place. 

In winning the soft red, the overburden is removed 
and the ore mined, at day, by benches. Under cover 
the ore becomes limey and hard and is mined from in- 
clines on the dip by drifts and slopes. 

The soft ore is the hard ore with the lime removed by 
atmospheric influences and is richer in iron the poorer 
it is in lime, When the overbruden is stripped oiff there 
is found a seam of ore quite soft and seemingly disin- 
tegrated, of a deep red or purple color, the so-called 
** gouge." It may be only a few inches thick but often 
runs to 24 and even 36 inches, and comprises generally 
the best part of the ore. Underneath this begins the 
more solid ore diminishing in content of iron according 
to the vertical depth. The best quality of *' gouge" will 
carry 52 per cent, of iron while ten feet below its line of 
demarcation the iron falls to about 46 per cent. Be-^ 
tween the " gouge " and the ore proper there is often a 
^thin seam of yellowish clay, which, however, is by no 
means constant in strike. In the more solid ore, be-^ 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; THE HEMATITES 37 . 

neath the " gouge," there are seams of the same clay, 
^sometimes as much as two inches thick but. for the most 
part not above half an inch thick. In the early days of 
iron making in the Birmingham district it was the cus- 
=tom to mine 15 to 20 feet of the soft ore and to send the 
"whole material to the furnace- Of late years, however, 
the mining has been restricted to ten feet, including the 
-"*' gouge " as it was found that below this depth the ore 
rapidly became siliceous and unfit for use. Taking the 
•content of metallic iron in the *' gouge" at fifty per 
xjent, as mined, the loss in iron according to vertical 
•depth, is about one-half of one per cent, per foot. This . 
•would bring the iron in the first ten feet of the seam to 
forty-five per cent, and in the next ten feet to forty per 
cent. A large number of analyses extending over sev;- 
«ral years show that when the mining is limited to the 
ten foot mark the iron content is a little over 47 per 
cent, in the ore as mined, i. e., with seven per cent, of 
water, and including the " gouge." The rapid increase 
of the silica in the ore below the ten foot mark is shown 
by the fact that to get even 47 per cent, of iron in th^ . 
upper ten feet from one-fifth to one-third of it must be 
composed of the ** gouge," with its 50 per cent, of 
iron. 

The following successions of materials has been ob; 
served at East No. 2 mine on Red Mt. south of Grace's 
Oap, and about 4 miles from Birmingham. The over- ? 
burden here was 24i feet thick, and was removed before v 
Any of the ore was mined. In places the overburden iq^ 
mot 80 heavy, and in other places it is heavier. There ifi| . 
mo general rule in regard to the thickness of the over . 
burden or its nature. Within two miles of this locality, 
^towards the southwest the overburden is a great deal , 
thicker, and of a different character. 



38 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

SECTION I. 

VERTICAL SECTION AT EAST NO. -2 MINE, 

RED MT. SOFT RED ORE. 



Ft. In. 

Soil and red Caay. /. 6 

Sandstone. ; 3 

Clay 1 

Sandstone I 

Clay 2 

Ore.... '. .. 6 

Clay 2 

Ore Si- 
Clay 1 

Ore 4 

Clay 4 

Ore 4 

telay i 

Ore 1 1 

Clay , 2 

Ore 10 

Clay , 1 

Ore 2i 

Clay i 

0» i 

Clfcjr 1 

Or© 2 

Cliy i 

IJltte gtltined ore 2 

day 2 

fitte gHitted ore 1 4 

Slate 4- 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; THE HEMATITES. 39 

grained ore 5 

Clay... 1 

Tine grained ore 7 

Siate: I 

Fine grained ore 4 

Slate 2 

Sandy ore 1 

Slate 1 

Sandy ore ; 2 

Slate 1 

Sandy ore • 

Slate "... 1 

Sandy ore T 

Slate 1 

Limy ore > 2- 

Slate i 

Limy ote . . 2 

Slate i 

Limy ore 8 

Clay i 

Sandy ore ^ 

Slate . a 

Sandy ore : 8 

Slate and sandy ore ft 

Sandy ore 1 

OUy seam jt 

Sandy ore .... 8 

Slate ' 1 

Sandstone \ 6 

Good ore .*. 10 

Po6r ore 12 

' Yellow slate bottom 46 T 

The occurrence of thin seams of limey ore above the 



40 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA . 

big seam of soft ore is noteworthy, as also thin seama 
of sandy, lime-free ore and limey oreare interstratified, 
being separated by thin partings of slate. It is also 
remarkable that the fine grained ore carries much less 
phosphorus than the ordinary soft ore of coarser text- 
ure, and the limey ore. Whatever phosphorizing agen- 
cies were at work when these ores were deposited, or. 
subsequently, they do not seem to have affected all the 
ore alike. For instance, the ordinary, medium and 
coarse grained soft ore carries generally from 0,30 % to 
0.40 % of phosphorus, but the fine grained ore carries 
not more than one-half this amount, and has been found 
with only 0.10 %. Furthermore, there is a 2 to 3 foot 
seam of soft ore, near Village Springs, 20 miles north- 
east of Birmingham, that carries 5.40 % of phosphorus 
in one place and 2.30 % in another. At Lone Pino 
Gap, opposite Birmingham, soft red ore has been found 
with 46 % of iron, and 0.06 % of phosphorus. In any 
one particular kind of ore the phosphorus appears to be 
of uniform distribution, but in the same vertical section 
where thin seams and thick occur, where fine grained 
and coarse grained ore is found, different amounts of 
phosphorus are met with. The matter is chiefly of. 
scientific interest, but has not been fully investigated. 
It must not be suppposed that the succession of mate- 
rial, as already given, is always the same. Within 2 
miles of East No. 2, towards the southwest at the Fossil 
mines quite another arrangement may be seen. With 
the exception of the limey ore, which does not appear in, 
the overburden at the place examined, the materials are 
the same, but the succession and the development are 
different. The object of the mining at both places was 
the same, viz., to win the soft red ore. At East No. 2 
the overburden wast 24i feet thick, at Fossil it was 66 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; THE HEMATITES. 41 

feet, the dip of the ore at East No. 2 was 19 degrees to 
the southeast and at Fossil 22i degrees. 

The thickest single stratum at East No. 2, above the 
-ore was 3 feet of sandstone, while this material had in- 
-creased in thickness to 26 feet at Fossil. At East No. 2 
again the overburden was composed of no less than 56 
•separate strata in the 24i feet, while at Fossil, in 66 feet 
there were also 56 separate strata. The fine grained ore 
and the limy ore in the overburden at East No. 2 are 
lacking at Fossil. It was difficult to get the vertical 
section at Fossil, as the writer had to be let down with 
s, rope alongside the face, but it is thought that it is 
approximately correct. 



42 aBOLOGICAL 8URVSY OF ALABAMA. 



SECTION II. 

VERTICAL SECTION AT FOSSIL, RED MOUN- 
TAIN, tSOFT RED ORE. 

Ft. In. 

Soil and red clay 4 

Sandstone 26 

Clay 2 

Sandstone 1 4 

Clay 2 

Sandstone 1 2 

Clay 1 

Sandstone 1 7 

Clay 1 

Sandstone 2 2 

Clay 6 

Sandstone 1 1 

Clay 1 

Sandstone 8 

Clay 7 

Sandstone 1 4 

Clay -8 

Sandstone 2 

Ore 2 

Sandy ore 3 

Clay 3 

Sandy ore 1 6 

Clay 2 

Sandy ore 1 

Clay 1 

Sandy ore 3 

Clay a 



iron making in alabama ; the hematitbs. 43 

Ft. In. 

iS^i-ndy ore 1 

CJXay 3 

Ore 9 

Olay 2 

S si.ndy ore 1 

Olay!^ 6 

'S-andy ore 2 

Olay 3 

Ore 1 

Clay 2 

Ore 9 

Clay 1 

Ore 2 

Ciay 5 

Ore 5 

Clay 8 

Ore 8 

Clay ,. 6 

Sandy ore 2 

Cl-ay 1 

S*ndy one 1 

Clay 1 

Sa-tidy ore 4 

Glay 2 

Q^od ore 2 

ta.y 5 

6 

2 

ore 3 

ay 1 

ore 6 4 

ay.... 1 5 

J9te 9 

ow and ctey 6 

Ytfitow «faale bottom 





•1ft. 



44 GBOLOGICAL SURVBY OF ALABAMA. 

In Vol. XV. 10th U. S. Census, Mr. A. A. Blair gives 
some very detailed analyses of the soft red ore used in 
the Birmingham district. An average of those quoted 
is herewith given : 

Dry basis % 
Silica 13.66 

Sulphur 0.11 

Phosphorus 0.43 

Alumina 6. 13 

Lime 1.26 

Mag^esia 0.37 

Manganese protoxide 0.30 

Iron protoxide 0.32 

Iron peroxide 75.05 

Carbonic acid 0.08 

Carbon in carbonaceous matter 0.03 

Water of composition 1.62 



Metallic iron, 52.87 per cent. 99.36 

Specific gravity 4. 

This average shows a greater amount of alumina and 
metallic iron, and much less silica than is usually the 
case with this class of ore. 

An average analysis of stock house samples shows : 

Dry, 

Iron 47.24 50.80 

Silica 17.20 18.50 

Alumina 3.35 8.60 

Lime 1.12 1.20 

Water 7.00 

For practical purposes it is not necessary to go so fully 
into detail, and it is customary to determine merely the* 
insoluble matter and the iron. With a few ores of this 
class which carry unusual amounts of alumina thid in- 
gredient is also determined. But for every day practice 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; THE HEMATITES. A5 

and with slags of 88 to 86 per cent, silica the alumina is 

considered as silica and reported with it as ''insoluble.'" 

It is a fortunate circumstance that the soft red ores,. 

Tvhen finely ground, yield their iron to acid solution 

i^ithout fusion, the insoluble residue being of a creamy 

"white appearance and carrying seldom more than 0.2O 

per cent, of iron. For blast furnace purposes and where 

the ore is not sold on the unit system the easy solubility 
of the ore is a point of great importance, especially when 
many analyses must be made within a short time. About 
one-half of the alumina present goes into solution with 
the iron but may be neglected under the conditions that 
obtain in the district with respect to the variation in the 
composition of the cinder. In calculating furnace bur- 
dens the error arising from neglecting the alumina and 
reckoning it as silica is comparatively slight, as the ratio 
between the silica and the alumina is as 1 to 0.87. 

The insoluble matter in most of the soft red ore as 
used in the State is 23 per cent., and the iron 46 per 
cent., with water at 7 per cent. The ordinary ratio be- 
tween the metallic iron and th'e insoluble matter varies 
from 1 to 1.50 to 1 :2. To illustrate. 

Water 7;%.. 
Insoluble. 
Iron. Matter. 

40 36.00^ 

41 33.00 

42 , 31.00 For each 1 per cent. 

48 29.00 y increase in the iron 

44 .27.^0 I th« insoluble matter 

45 .' , .25.00 r falls 2 per cent. 

46 23.00 j 

47 22.00^ 



48 20.50 

49 19.00 

50 ...17.50 

51 16.00 

52 14.50 

53 .,, 13.00 

64 11.50 



> 



For each 1 per cent, 
increase in the iron 
the insoluble matter 
falls 1.50 per cent. 



>* 



46 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

It is not necessary to carry the list further, as the sup- 
ply of fifty- four per cent, soft red ore is limited. It is 
not claimed that this ratio is absolutely correct, but a 
large number of analyses substantiate its reliability for 
ordinary purposes. The ratio from 40 iron through 46 
iron is as 1 :2. Beginning with iron 47 and insoluble 
22, the ratio appears to be nearer 1 :1.50 than 1 :2, for 
with iron 48 the insoluble matter is about 20.50. It 
may, therefore, be said with a fair degree of accuracy^ 
that a soft red ore carrying 40 per cent, of iron may be 
expected to contain 35 per cent, one with 45 per ceot. 
of iron 25 per cent, and one with 50 per cent, of iron 
17.50 per cent, of insolute matter. There are, of course 
exceptions to this rule and it does some times occur that 
an ore with 46 per cent, of iron will be found to carry 
22 per cent, and one with 48 per cent, of iron will have 
21 or 22 per cent, of insoluble matter. But on the whole 
the fact remains that an ore with 45 per cent, of iron 
will carry 25 percent, of insoluble, and one with 50 per 
cent, of iron from 17 to 18 per cent., and the li§t may 
be used as an approximation to the truth. 

In texture, the soft red ore is a mass of minute silic- 
eous pebbles held in a ferruginous cement. The pebbles 
are seldom larger than a No. 4 shot, and are frequently 
much smaller. Thev are all more or less rounded and 
stained reddish-brown. The cementing maierial is softer 
than the pebbles, and on sizing even a very lean ore the 
material passing a screen of fifty meshes per linear inch 
is much richer in iron than the material remaining on a 
10 or a 20, mesh screen. A soft red ore of 40 per cent, 
iron, on being ground to pass a ten mesh screen, will 
yield through a fifty mesh 53 per cent, of iron, and the 
amount passing the 50 mesh screen is from 25 to 30 per 
cent, of the ore, by weight. 

So far as concerns their physical structure, this is* one 



IRON MAKING IN AI4ABAMA ; TUB HAMATITES. 47 

of the points of difFereatiation between the soft red and 
the so-called brown ores, for these, on being sized, i»bow 
s, steady loss of iron the finer the screen. The fact of 
increasing richness in iron the finer the screen renders 
the concentration of the low grade soft red ores> mocb 
simpler than would otherwise be the case, as the "fines" 
can be- briquetted without further tieatment, and the 
troublesome question of handling them becomes com- 
paratively easy. The rounded form of the more siliceous 
pebbles also occasions less wear on the shutea, sGreens, 
and conveyors ; a point of no little moment in concentra- 
ting works. 

The better grades of the soft red ore do not occur at 
every point on Red Mountain, nor is it possible to miuB 
even ten feet profitably everywhere along the ridge. It is 
frequently the case that the inferior ore sets in^ as tbe 
saying is, **at the grass roots," and even the richer 
^^gouge" is sometimes absent. Mining operations can 
not be undertaken without careful prospecting and many 
analyses, for th« diflference between a fairly good ore and 
one that is not passable is often so slight as to deceive 
even the most experienced man who grades merely by 
the eye. After having become accustomed to a partic- 
ular kind of ore, one may judge of its quality by the ap- 
pearance with a reasonable degree of accuracy. While 
for the most part the soft ores, are of the same general 
texture and color, it not infrequently happens that 
serious mistakes may be made unless the services of a 
chemist are called into requisition . When freshly mined 
the ore is of a deep red color, inclining to purplish' red 
in the richer portions, but on drying there is assumed 
something of a brownish tint. For ordinary stockhouse 
delivery the ore contains on the average 7 per cent, of 
hygroscopic water, which, owing to the coarse-grained 
nature, soon dries out under cover. 



48 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 

In the early days of iron making in the Birmingham- 
district, before the real value of the limy or hard ores- 
was generally accepted, the furnace burden was com- 
posed almost entirely of the soft ores. Of late years ^ 
however, the tendency is decidedly towards a greater and 
greater proportion of the limy ore, the proportion rising' 
at times to above 90 per cent, of the ore burden. It is 
still to some extent a mooted question as to the relative 
reducibility of the two ores, but a careful investigation 
of the subject would, we think, show that in this respect 
the limy ore has the advantage. When the soft ore 
descends into the zone of reduction in the furnace, it 
does so without losing its firmness of texture. Even 
after it has become red hot. or white hot, it maintains 
its shape, except as this may be changed by friction 
during the descent. The reducing gases act upon it in 
the lump, and if the lumps be of considerable size the- 
reduction to metallic iron may be delayed and the ore 
may appear before the tuyeres. 

The case is quite otherwise with the limy ore. The 

lime is present as carbonate, (except such as may be 
combined with the phosphorus as phosphate of lime, an 
amount rarely exceeding 0.50% ,) and when this reaches 
a point in the furnace at which its carbonic acid begins 
to come off, the ore begins to fall to pieces . The friction 
of the other materials aids this tendency quite as mucL 
as, and perhaps, more than in the case of the soft ore- 
The reducing gascB can and do have a greater ore sur- 
face to work on and the result is that for a given weight^ 
of coke and a given composition of the gas there is 
greater reducing action. The soft ore is more fusible 
than the limy ore, but this does not necessarily mean 
that it is more easily penetrated by the reducing gases 
within the furnace. On the contrary a fused crust on 



IBON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; THB HEMATITES. 49 

the outside of a piece of soft ore interposes considerable 
opposition to the passage of the gases, and as this crust 
becomes thicker and thicker the gases penetrate with 
more and more difficulty. In the case of the limy ore 
as soon as it begins to part with its carbonic acid it be- 
gins to disintegrate, and this very fact of disintegratione 
enables it to receive to better advantage the reduciugj 
power of the gases. 

In comparing the two ores another circumstance must 
not be lost sight of, and that is the intimate comming- 
ling of the ore arid the lime that is to flux it. This is » 
distinguishing characteristic of the lime ores. It would 
be impracticable to effect by artificial means such an in- 
timate mixture of ore and lime as Nature has already 
provided in these ores. This circumstance is of the' 
greatest importance in any discussion of the relative- 
value of the soft and the lime ores, for while these latter 
require a higher heat for fusion they are not therefore to 
be considered less easily reducible. 

The reducibility of an ore depends far more upon its 
permeability or porosity than upon its fusing point. For 
the most part the loss of energy in a furnace is chargea- 
ble to lack of reducing power rather than to lack of fus- 
ing power. 

The tendency now is more and more towards the use 
of the limy ores; for the enormous demand that has been, 
made on the better quality of the soft ore within the im- 
mediate vicinity of Birmingham has begun to make 
itself felt. 

Three courses of action may be open : First, the in- 
creasing proportion of limy ore in the burden may in- 
duce the furnacemen to look towards the use of eighty 
or ninety per cent, of it, the difference being made up 
with soft and brown ore. Second, other sources of soft 
ore may be utilized. Third, the lower grades of the soft 

4 



50 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

ore, now remaining in the ground, may be concentrated 
and made to take the place of the ore that has been re- 
moved. It is not thought that the proportion of brown 
ore used will be materially increased. 

Under the existing conditions it would appear advisa- 
ble to begin at once to increase the proportion of limy 
ore used, so as to establish on the basis of wider experi- 
ence the economic relation that this burden would sus- 
tain to former practice, or to push the work of concen- 
trating the lower grades of soft ore to some definite re- 
sult. 

The experiments on concentrating soft ore, to which 
some allusion has already been made, showed the possi- 
bility of taking an ore of 40 % iron and 35 % silica and 
bringing the ore to 57% and the silica to 15%, on the 
average. In this process two tons of raw ore were re- 
quired to make one ton of concentrates. The matter is 
fully discussed in Clinpter VII on the Concentration of 
Low-grade Ores. 

The Limy, or so-called Hard Ore, 

The ore sets in sometimes at the outcrop but much 
more frequently it is fo.und only under cover and is the 
continuation of the soft ore in the direction of the dip. 
For distances varying from nothing to 300 feet on the 
dip the ore is soft, then the hard ore begins and con- 
tinues to depths not yet ascertained but certainly very 
considerable. In other words, as has been already stat- 
ed, the hard ore, which originally appeared at the sur- 
face, has been deprived of its carbonic acid by atmos- 
pheric influences and converted into soft ore along the 
dip to varying depths, the lime having been removed by 
leaching. Relatively the same differences that are to 
be observed in the soft ore from various places are also 
found in the hard ores. There are points along the 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; INTRODUCTION. 51 

mountain where the minable seam of soft ore is better 
than at others, and there are places where the hard ore 
is better than at others. 

On a vertical section of the soft ore the content in iron 
decreases downward, the rate b^ing about one-half of one 
per cent, per foot. The rule holds good for the hard ore 
on a vortical section. The mining on the big seam of 
soft ore is now confined for the most part to the upper 
ten feet, the mining on the hard ore is also the same, 
and below the ten-foot mark the hard ore also be- 
comes too siliceous for economic use. The hard ore de- 
rives its value from two circumstances, first there is a 
great deal more of it than of the soft ore, because it ex- 
tends to very considerable depths, and second because of 
the intimate admixture of carbonate of lime with the 
ferruginous material. The best hard ore carries more 
lime than is required to flux its silica, while in the ordi- 
nary grades the ratio of one of silica to one of lime is 
generally conserved. When this is the case the ore is 
termed* 'self fluxing" and in burdening a furnace ex- 
clusively with hard ore of this type it is not necessary to 
add limestone to flux the ore. When the burden is com- 
posed of hard and soft ore, or of hard and brown, or of. 
hatd, soft, and brown the amount of limestone to be added 
is calculated from the silica of the ore other than hard, the 
silica of the fuel and of the stone itself. The increase in 
the use of hard ore would tend to diminish the consump- 
tion of limestone by an amount represented by the lime- 
stone in the ore and if a strictly self-fluxing ore were used 
the consumption of limestone would be greatly dimin- 
ished. There is a kind of hard ore, termed semi-hard, 
which contains from one-third to one-half of the lime in 
typical hard ore, but of this sort very little is used, and 
it is not mined regularly. 

Within the last three years the use of crushed hard ore 



52 OBOLOGICAL SURYXT OF ALABAMA. 

has become quite common in the Birmingham district.. 
The soft ore does not lend itself readily to crushing un- 
less thoroughly dry. With the amount of water it usu- 
ally contains it becomes somewhat like clay in the crush- 
er, i.e. more or less gummy, and the machine soon be* 
comes choked. 

A general average of the hard ore used shows : 

Pbr Cent. 

Water 0.50 

Metallic Iron ST-OO* 

Silica 13.44 

Lime 16.20 

Alumina 3.1& 

Phosphorus 0.37 

Sulphur 0.07 

Carbonic acid 12 .24 

Adding the alumina and the silica together we have— 
for silica plus alumina 16.62%, the lime is 16.20%, and 
the ore may be termed self-fluxing. It cannot be said 
that all of the hard ore used is self-:fluxing, a.9 some oj 
it contains 5% more of lime than of silica plus alumina. 
Taking a general average, however, of analyses of jail 
kinds of hard ore extending over several years this ore 
carries enough lime to flux the silica plus alumina. It 
may be urged that aluminous soft ore needs silica as a 
flux for the alumina, and this is indeed true. But we 
have to flux the silicate of alumina with lime, and it is 
merely a. question as to whether all the bases of the 
burden shall be calculated as lime, and all the acids as 
silica, or whether we shall regard the silica plus alumina 
as requiring so much lime. In either case the type of 
slag to be made has to be considered, and for any one 
type the two calculations lead to the same result so far 
as concerns the consumption of limestone per ton ot 
iron . 



IRON MAKING IN ALABAMA ; THB HEMATITES. 53 

The question has been raised as to whether the hard 
ore, on the dip, may not gradually lose its content of 
iron and become a more and more ferruginous limestone 
until finally the iron will not exceed 20 or 25%. The 
matter is one of scientific rather than practical moment, 
^nd some information has been collected. Taking the 
iron in the soft ore at 47 % at the outcrop, and in the 
hard ore at 37% 100 feet on the dip the rate of decrease 
ior the iron would be one per cent, per hundred feet. 

"This rate seems to be maintained at some localities, but 
^t others it varies so that no rule can be given. This 

- -comparison is between the soft and the hard ore. When 
the hard ore begins it maintains a fairly uniform compo- 

--:sition on planes extending in the direction of the dip. 
As to the minimum amount of iron that a hard ore 

—can carry and still be considered an ore, opinions may 

—differ. But if the iron in the hard ore should fall to 
^5%, the lime ' increasing in the same proportion, it is 
not likely that it could be used. The silica and alumina 
appear to remain somewhat stationary, so that the ques- 
tion would be whether or no material carrying 25% of 
iron, from 16 to 20% of silica, and from 24 to 28% of 
lime can be profitably used. It will be many years, 
however, before this question will arise, and it is not 
necessary to discuss it now. It is bound up with geo- 
logical and topographical considerations which are still 
in abeyance. 

The beneficiation of the limy ore by calcining it is 
-discussed in the chapter on Concentration of Ores. 



54 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 



THE LIMONITE, OR, SO-CALLED BROWN ORES, 

As a rule these ores constitute the best material for 
iron making in the State. Practically all of the charcoal 
iron is produced from this class of ore, and although 
there has been of late years a marked decrease in the 
output of charcoal iron, following a general tendency 
throughout the country at large, the total amount made 
from 1872 to the close of 1897, was 1,000,000 tons. 

The yearly amount of brown ore mined is about 2& 
per cent, of the total production of all kinds of ore. 

The deposits do not occur in regular seams, except as 
the gossan of underlying pyritiferous veins which furnish 
very little of the ore used, but as pockets in the clay. 
These pockets are of greater or less extent, sometimes 
going down to 75 or 100 feet, or even deeper. 

They do not appear to follow any known rule of occur- 
rence, and each deposit has to be judged by itself alone. 
It is a common saying that no one knows much about a 
brown ore bank beyond the length of his pick. To-day 
one may be in good ore, to morrow there may be none 
in sight, and to know which way to turn one must know 
the particular deposit he is mining. 

The ore is of two kinds, lump and gravel. There is 
no rule as to the proportion in which each may be pres- 
ent, even in the same 'bank.' The lump ore is generally 
better than the ordinary gravel ore unless this latter is 
carefully washed from adhering clay. And yet it often 
happens that the presence of chert, or sandy inclusions, 
in the lump ore, as also the clay-filling of the interstices 
and small holes, makes the lump ore objectionable. The 
lumps vary in size from that of the fist to large masses 
of several tons weight. 



THE LIMONITE, OR 80-CALLKD BROWN ORES. - 55 

. The large lumps are broken by hand, if of unusual 
size by means of small charges of dynamite, and loaded 
on the car without further treatment. By far the greater 
amount of brown ore is comprised within the sizes of a 
pigeon's egg and a goose egg. 

Excluding the large lumps, the method of mining is 
briefly as follows : The bank is cut away in benches, 
the entire mass being taken down either by hand, or 
steam-shovel. The stuff is loaded on trams and con- 
veyed to ordinary log- washers, single or double as the 
case may be, where it is subjected to thorough disinte- 
gration and stirring in lirgn excess of running water. 
The clay, &c., is removed by suspension in water, and 
is run into s^Htllng dams for the recovery of the water. 
The heavier particles of sand nre screened out over i inch 
screens revolving in a mild current of water, and the 

washed ore delivered over the screens into the railroad 

• 

cars, and sent to the furnaces. Where the clay holding 
the gravel is friable and does not *bair under the action 
of the washer, arid where abundance of water can be se- 
cured, this mt^thod of preparing brown ore is fairly suc- 
cessful. The'-e is great variation in the character of the 
clay, some of it beinoj easily disintegrated and therefore 
yielding its ore readily, and some of it being extremely 
tenacious and putty-like. In this case there may be 
serious loss of* the finer ore partirles, the balls of clay 
picking them up, enwrapping them, and finally carrying 
them to the waste dump. 

It is customary at some establishments to remove the 
clay balls by hand, boys being employed for the purpose. 
Jigging is resorted to but rarely, the results not war- 
ranting the additional expense. 

A method of washing that has given good satisfajCtion 
is to discharge the trams from the 'bank' into a head-box 
in which play two powerful streams of .water. .The 



56 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

lower end of the box, which is of triangular shape ani 
inclined about 30 degrees, opens into a long wooden 
trough lined with castings of iron fitted snugly at th& 
bottom. This trough in turn discharges into the washer 
at the foot of the hill. 

The advantages claimed are contact of the material 
with water under pressure, and the better separation oF — 
ore and clay from the tumbling motion down the trough. 
Even the tenacious clays may, in this manner, be made 
to yield their ore. But if the clay be extremely tena- 
cious, as is sometimes the case, even this mode of treat- 
ment fails to disintegrate it. In fact it rather tends to- 
increase the * balling' by carrying the material down an- 
incline. The friable and easily disintegrated clays, o 
the other hand, are speedily removed in this process, 
and the washer is called upon merely to complete wha 
has been already pretty well done. No washing system 
can succeed without plenty of water, and unsparing use 
of it. If the best results are to be reached there must 
be no half-handed and mistaken economy in the consump- 
tion of water, and as a large part of the water used is 
recovered in settling dams the loss of water is chargeable 
mostly to evaporation and seepage. The first can not 
be prevented, but seepage can be controUedby properly 
constructed dams. 

The amount of material moved per ton of ore obtained 
varies within wide limits. It may be 1 :1, 4 :1, or 10 :1. 
Even the same bank shows very considerable differences 
in this respect, so that no rule can be given. It is a 
matter that can not be determined before hand, and is 
liable to change from day to day. Variations in the 
composition of the ore from the same bank, while ob- 
servable, do not, as a rule, offer serious obstacles to suc- 
cessful mining. A given bank is apt to afford ore of the 
€^3,me general composition, and variations in the compo- 



THE LTMONITE, OR SO-CALLED BROWN ORES. 67 

sition of stock-house samples are to be explained by in- 
sufficient treatment in the washer, due to lack of water 
or changes in the nature of the clay. 

Brown ore mining is attractive because of the higher 
price paid for good brown ore, but should be entered 
xipon only after the most thorough examination of all 
local conditions. 

The average composition of the brown ore of the State, 
-stock-house delivery, is as follows : 

DRY BASIS. 

Metallic Iron 51 .00 

Silica 9.00 

Alumina ; 3.75 

Lime 0.75 

Phosphorus 0.40 

Sulphur 0.10 

The amount of water it contains varies according to 
circumstances. Thus, if the washer be placed at a short 
distance from the furnace the water, not having had 
time to drain out. is more than if the haul were longer 
So also if the ore be not properly washed the clay retains 
water. Under a haul of 25 to 50 miles the ore, sampled 
from the cars in the stock-house, contains on the average 
1% of hygroscopic water. Following is an average 
analysis of a good quality of brown ore : 

Hygroscopic water 7.00 

Combined water 6.00 

Metallic Iron 48.54 

Silica 11.22 

Alumina 3.61 

Lime 0.84 

Phosphorus : . 38 

Sulphur 0.09 



58 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

Selected brown ore may carry as much as 56% of iron, 
on a dry basis, and at one establishment the ordinary^ 
ore as charged carries 53 % , after washing and calcining. 
The sale of brown ore on analysis has become the cus- 
tom in the Birmingham district for outside ores. The 
basis of sale is 50% of Iron, and 10% of insoluble mat- 
ter, or silic*, as the case may be. The price per ton i& 
started, let u^ say, at $1.00, for ore carrying 50% of 
iron, and 10% of insoluble matter. Then for each one 
per ceat. above 50% 5 cents per ton is added to the price^ 

• 

If the insoluble matter at the sam3 time decrease 1%^ 
b^nng 9% instead of 10% , 2^ cents per ton additional is 
added. An ore carrying 51 % of iron and 9% of insolu- 
ble mitter would be worth $1,075 per ton, and so on. 
If, on the corttrary, the percentage of metallic iron: 
should fall to 49%, 5 cents per ton would be taken off,, 
and if at the same time the insoluble matter should rise 
to 11%, 2i cents per ton more would be subtracted. 
Thus an ore carrying 49% of iron and 11 % of insoluble 
matter would be worth $0,925 per ton. The starting; 
price is not always the same. It may be $1.00, $1.05, 
$1.10 &c., according to circumstances, but the valuation. 
of 5 cents per unit of iron, and 21 cents per unit of in- 
soluble matter is generally adopted. In this schema no 
account is taken ot* hygroscopic or combined water, or of 
sulphur, phosphorus, or alumina. 

The basis of valuation is the amount of metallic irott 
and insoluble matter. The ore may contain 5 % , or 10 %- 
of ordinary water, yet no account is taken of it. It 
would be much better if a deduction could be made for 
all water above a certain percentage, although the con- 
dition of the weather, as in the case of heavy rains while 
the ore was in transit, might prevent satisfactory agree- 
ments. 

The water a brown ore may contain is a small matter 



THE LIMONITES, OR SO-CALLED BROWN ORES. 59 

compared with the clay it may, aad too often does, con- 
tain. The ordinary water is easily enough evaporated 
in the upper part of the. furnace, but the clay requires 
flux and stone for its removal. 

Well washed ore, free from clay, seldom holds more 
than 4 % of water, and the increase in the amount of 
water follows closely upon the increase in the amount 
of clay. 

There is a circumstance in connection with brown ore 
that merits attention, not only because of its contradis- 
tinction to the soft red ore but also and particularly be- 
cause of its bearing upon its improvement, whether by 
simple screening or by some magnetic process. It has 
been stated that even the lower grades of soft ore on 
being dried and crushed yield more metallic iron in the 
material passing a 50 mesh screen than in the coarser 
stuff. In such ores there is a marked increase in the 
iron the finer the screen up to and including a 50^mesh. 

This is not true of the brown ore. The finer the screen , 
up to and including a 50 mesh, the poorer in iron is the 
material passing through. 

Not only have laboratory experiments shown this but 
actual work on a large scale has substantiated the gen- 
eral truth of the proposition that on crushing brown ore, 
whether by machines or by the attrition of ore on ore 
in a kiln the fine stuff carries less iron than the coarse 
stuff. Attention is drawn to this matter because of the 
custom at some kilns to draw the ore over screens into 
the furnace-buggies . There is considerable loss of ma- 
terial in this practice, and it is not to be recommended 
unless the ore carries an unusual amount of clay, which, 
of course, is removed over the screens. It may happen 
that as much as 10 per cent, by weight is lost, even over 
a i inch screen. Some experiments were undertaken to 



60 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

establish the actual loss, and how much iron was present 
in the various sizes of ore from a kiln. 

Several hundred pounds were taken, the samples be- 
ing drawn over several days and put together, po as to 
represent the ore fairly. The results of the investigation 
were as follows : 

Iron Silica. 

Raw ore 44.63 13.82 

Calcined ore 50.20 15.10 

Calcined ore — 

On i inch screen (68 per ct.) 52 95 10.25 

Through i inch screen (32 per ct.) .. .49.30 15.90 

On i inch screen (77 per ct.) . . . .52.75. . . . ^ . 11.05 
Through i inch screen (23 per ct.) . . .42.85 21.80 

It can not, of course, be sai » that all brown ores act 
in this way, but the ore under examination fairly repre- 
sented the second grade brown, and it is likely that 
other ores of the same class would give results compara- 
ble to these. 

Screening over a i inch screen gave 68 per cent, on 
the screen, with, say, 53 per cent of iron, and 32 per 
cent, through the screen with 49.50 per cent, of iron. 
Screening over a i incii screen gave 77 per cent, on the 
screen with 52.75 per cent, of iron, and 23 per cent, 
through the screen with 42.85 per cent, of iron. Screen- 
ing can not be recommended, except for clayey ore, and 
the clay should be removed in the washer. There is 
practically but little difference between the *overs' on a 
i inch and i inch screen in respect of iron, while there 
is a difference of 9 per cent, in weight in favor of the 
coarser screen. The loss of ore through either screen is 
too large for profitable work, except under unusual cir- 
cumstances requiring the use of the best ore obtainable^ 



MILL CINDER. 

Another material used in the Birmingham district, as 
a source of iron, is mill cinder. 

It is a product from puddling furnaces, and is worth 
from 90 cents to $1.00 a ton, delivered. 

The com position varies somewhat, as the following 
analyses show : 

Equal parts, by weight, of heating furnace and puddle 
cinder ; metallic iron, 56.59 per cent. 

Equal parts, by weight, of cinder made with coal, cin- 
der made with gas, and puddle cinder : metallic iron 
51.33 per cent. 

Equal parts, by weight, of flue and tap cinder ; me- 
tallic iron, 50.08 per cent. 

The average composition of ordinary mill cinder is 

about as follows : 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 60.00 

Silica 20.00 

Alumina 1.50 

Lime 0.50 

Sulphur 1.60 

Phosphorus 0.60 

It is not Used regularly, but in broken doses, as a 

* 'scouring' ' material . 

BLUE BILLY, PURPLE ORE. 

Residue from pyrite burners in sulphuric acid works. 
This material has been used in Alabama, having been 
purchased from the sulphuric acid factories in Atlanta, 
Pensacola, &c. It generally carries more than 60 % of 
iron, but the content of sulphur is quite variable, and 
may be as much as 2.50%. 



62 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 



CHAPTER III. 



THE FLUXES. 

The material used for flux in the State is either lime- 
stone, dolomite, or a mixture of the two in varying pro- 
portions. It is now very largely sold on analysis, sam- 
ples being drawn from each car received. The basis of 
sale is the percentage of silica, some of the contracts 
starting at 2.50 per cent, and others at 3.50 per cent. 
When the stone is sold on analysis it is customary to 
employ a sliding scale, as has already been explained 
under the brown ore. Suppose the base is 3.50 percent, 
of silica. The scale is so arranged that for each quarter 
of one per cent, above 3.50 per cent., two-tenths of a 
cent per ton is taken off, and for quarter of one per cent, 
below 3.50 per cent, of silica two-tenths of a cent is 
added. Thus if the delivery price be 60 cents per ton 
for a 3.50 per cent, stone, and the silica should run to 
3.75 per cent., the price would be 59.8 cents per ton, 
and if the silica should fall to 3.25 per cent., the price 
would be GO. 2 cents per ton. If tlie AWcd should rise to 
5 per cent, the price per ton would be 68.8 cents, and if 
it should fall to 2.00 per cent, the price would be 61 
cents. 

The average analysis of the limestone used in the 
state may be stated as follows : 

Silica 4.00% 

Oxide of iron and alumina 1.00 

Carbonate of lime 94.60 Lime 53.00% 

It not infrequently happens that the stone is much 
higher in silica than this average. Instances are on 



THE FLUXBS. 63 

record in which the silica was 8.00 per cent. In such 
■cases the production of iron is attended with consider- 
ably higher cost than when the better stone is used. 

Considerable shipments of limestone from Bangor 
have been made in which the silica was less than 0.60 
per cent. 

Until the last few years limestone was the only flux 
used. During the last two years the use of dolomite has 
largely increased. In the manufacture of basic iron in- 
tended for the open hearth steel furnace it was soon 
found that the use of dolomite was a decided advantage, 
especially in the elimination of sulphur. Whether this 
result was due to the fact that the dolomite carried only 
1.25-1.50 per cent, of silica as against 4.00 for the lime- 
stone, or whether the presence of magnesia was of real 
benefit, so far as concerns the elimination of the sulphur, 
is still in dispute. The fact, however, remains that in 
the production of basic iron, sold on analysis under se- 
vere restrictions as to quality, only dolomite is used. 
Aside from its low silica content, the dolomite possesses 
the further advantage of great uniformity of composi- 
tion. This is a point very much in its favor. My own 
experience with limestone in this state covers something 
like 22,000 cars, and with dolomite about 5,000 cars. 
The former is subject to considerable variation in respect 
to silica, while the latter, in so far at least as concerns 
the lump stone, is of remarkable uniformity. The high- 
est amount of silica observed in the lump dolomite is a 
trifle over 1 .50 per cent. , the ordinary range being from 
0.75 to 1.25 per cent. 

Extensive deposits of both limestone and dolomite 
exist within eight miles of Birmingham. The haul for 
limestone is, however, about thirty miles, only the dolo- 
mite being worked within the immediate vicinity. So 



64 OEOLOOIGAL SUBVEY OF ALABAMA. 

far as my observation goes, the average composition oi 
the dolomite used may be taken as follows : 

Dolcito Dolomite 

Silica •. . / 1.50%-2.00% 

Oxide of iron and alumina 1.00 % 

Carbonate of lime 54.00% Lime 30.31 % 

Carbonate of magnesia. .43.00% Magnesia 20.71% 

The dolomite mined by the Sloss Iron and Steel Com- 
pany at North Birmingham seldom carries as much as 
0.40 percent, of silica. 

The proportion between the magnesia and the lime 
does not vary much from 1 : 1.50. 

Both the limestone and the dolomite carry small 
amounts of sulphur, the maximum so far observed be- 
ing 0.11 per cent. 

As in the limestone quarries there are layers of silic- 
eous material interfering with the quality of the mate- 
rial, so in the dolomite quarries there are ledges of 
almost pure silicia, white as porcelain. They seem to be 
flinty concretions occurring in more or less regular 
bands, from onerhalf an inch to three inches in thick- 
ness. It is customary to separate these flinty nodules 
from the stone by hand before it is shipped. They do 
not seriously interfere with the quality of the dolomite 
if care is used in the separation. Otherwise they are 
extremely objectionable. 

The impure limestone is of a much darker color than 
the good stone, but the impure dolomite is generally 
much lighter in color than the remaining portion . There 
is a kind of dolomite that occurs in some of the quarries 
that is very deceptive to the eye. It looks not unlike 
coarse brown sugar, has the same damp appearance and 
glistens in the sunlight. To the hand it feels sandy, but 
on analysis it is found generally to be the best stone in 
the quarry. Some samples have given only 0.25 per 



THE FLUXfiS. 65 

cent, of silica. Not all of this loose, sandy looking dole* 
mite is good, however, for it sometimes happens that i)^ 
carries more than 3.00 per cent, of silica, and one sam- 
ple was found to contain nearly 4.00 per cent. It does 
not form a large proportion of the material in the quarry^ 
and is mined and shipped with the other stone. 

Both the limestone and the dolomite are quarried ott 
the face, no underground work being required. Crushed 
stone or lump is shipped as occasion may demand. 

The amount of stone used per ton of iron varies, of 
course, with the quality of the stone, with the nature of 
the ore and fuel, and, to some extent, with the grade of 
the iron required. The range is from 0.30 to 0.80. 
This subject will be discussed in the chapter on Furnace* 
Burdens, which will be devoted to the general practice- 
throughout the State, different types of burdens beings 
selected with reference to the consumption of raw maten 
rials per ton of iron and the cost of the same. 

No attempt has been made on any considerable scale 
to use calcined stone, whether limestone or dolomite, 
except in so far as the calcination of hard ore may be 
considered as an attempt to calcine the carbonate of lime^ 
contained in it. 

It is necessary here merely to state the question ixt 
general terms. As has been already remarked, in thfr 
discussion of the hard ore, we have in this State an inti* 
mate mixture of oxide of iron, silica, and carbonate of 
lime. The best of it contains on the average 37 per 
cent, of iron, 13.44 per cent, of silica, and 15.45 per 
cent, of lime. The admixture of these materials is far 
more perfect than could be attained by any practical 
mechanical means, although some of the ore is not self- 
fluxing. This being the case we can ask ourselves if it 
is more economical to employ this ore, in which the flux 
id already so well mixed with the silica, than to use aa 

5 



6B GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

. ore of far less content of lime and therefore requiring 
the addition of flux. At the first glance it would appear 
that it is better to avail ones self of whatever advan- 
tages Nature herself has conferred upon us in the way 
of an ore carrying its own lime. But the matter can 
not be settled out of hand and without careful investiga- 
tion of all the data bearing upon it. From the stand- 
point of the furnace man, if he could depend on secur — 
ing self-fluxing ore regularly, the matter resolves itsel:^ 
into the simple consideration as to whether he can mak^ 
as much iron and as cheap iron in the one way as in th^ 
other. He may, indeed, go a step farther and ask if h -^ 
make iron more cheaply in the one way than in th^ 
other. Having settled this, he has no further concert 
with the matter. If he can make iron more cheaply b — 
using a greater and greater proportion of hard ore thad^ 
by using an ore which requires the addition of extranet 
ous flux, it is his duty to do it. This, however, is a on^S 
aided view. There are other investments in the Stat-^ 

..4ihat must be regarded as well as investments in furnaces 
How is it with the contractor for ore and flux? Woul^ 
his business be hindered by the substitution of hard or^ 
for stone? Tf his profit on the ore were the same as hj.^ 
profit on the stone, no great hardship would follow tho 
increase in the use of the one and the decrease in th6 
use of the other. But if it should happen that his profit 
in mining stone were greater than his profit in mining 
hard ore, and there should be such an increase in the 
consumption of hard ora as to destroy the value of his 
stone quarry, he would not be apt to appreciate the ad- 
vantages of the change. In this respect this iron dis- 
trict differs from any other in the country, and the rela- 
tions of stone to ore burden vary perhaps more widely 
than elsewhere. The ability of the furnaces to dimin- 
ish at will the consumption of limestone, places them in 



"^- 



THB FLUXES. (ST 

a very independent position. If the price of stone be 
too high, they can run on increased proportions of hard 
ore. .If they succeed in obtaining the stone at reasona- 
ble cost, they take oflF hard ore and put on soft or brown. 
For instance, a certain coke furnace during a certain 
month in 1895 made about 5,000 tcma of iron with an 
ore burden coiiiposed of 50.9 per cent, hard, and 49.1 
per cent, soft ore. The total burden was as follows : 

Hard ore 27.7 per cent. 

Soft ore.... 26.7 " 

Limestone 15.5 " 

Cote 30.1 " 



100.00 



a 



The consumption per ton of iron was : 

Ore 2.36 tons (2240 lbs.) 

Stone ..0.67 '' 

Coke 1.32 '* 

4.54 

And the cost per tp|i of iron was, for raw materials : 

Ore $1.32 

Stone 0.34 

Coke;... 1.83 

$3.49 

The consumption of coke per pound of iron made was 
1.32 lbs., and practically all of the iron was of foundry 
grades. 

Shortly before, the same furnace was running on 33.4 
per cent, hard, 65.3 per cent, soft, and 1.3 per cent, 
brown ore. The total burden was : 



68 OBOLOGICAL SUBYBT of ALABAMA . 



\ 



Hard ore 17.0 per centr^ 

Soft ore 33.1 

Brown ore 0.6 " 

Limestone 16.9 '* 

Coke 32.4 '^ 

100.00 

The consumption per ton of iron, of which somethin^^ 
over 4,600 tons were made, was, in tons of 2,240 lbs. : 

Ore 2.20 

Limestone 0.73- 

Coke 1.41 

4.34 

The cost per ton of iron was, for raw materials : 

Ore $1.26 

Stone. . . ; 0.43 

Coke 1.83 . 



$3.52 

The consumption of coke per pound of iron was 1 .41^ 
lbs., and in this case also practically all of the iron made 
was of foundry grades. In these two cases there was a-« 
saving of nine cents per ton of iron by increasing the-' 
proportion of hard ore and lessening the amount of 
limestone added. The ore cost six cents a ton of iron 
more than when the larger proportion of soft ore was 
used, so that the net gain was three cents per ton of iron, 
$3.49 for the hard ore burden, and $3.52 for the other. 

But with the lesser amount of hard ore the furnace 
made 358 tons of iron more than with the greater 
amount. This has to be set to the credit of the soft ore 
burden. 

Perhaps no positive conclusions can be drawn from. 



THE PLUXB8. 69 

« 

one or two instances, and as the whole matter will be 
fully discussed under Furnace Burdens, it may be best 
Jto defer any further remarks. 

Enough, however, has been said in this chapter on' 
~the fluxes to direct attention to the importance of the 
considerations advanced. The future of the iron industrv 
in the State depends not on any one circumstance or con- 
dition, howsoever vital it may seem, but upon the result- 
ant of a number of forces, some of whose eflfects may be 
at the present but dimly foreseen. It is possible that 
the relation between hard ore and limestone, or dolomite, 
is one of the?e. 

Mr. C. A. Meissner w^.s the first furnace manager in 
the Birmingham district to make use of dolomite regu- 
larly and systematically. While manager of the Van- 
derbilt furnace he began to prospect for workable de- 
posits of dolomite, and succeeded in locating and opening 
the quarries now belonging to the Jeflferson Mining & 
Quarrying Co., about 2 miles from North Birmingham. 
This was the first quarry of dolomite opened and the 
first shipment- were made in 1890 to the Sloss Iron and 
Steel Company. 

This quarry is still in active operation, and yields ex- 
cellent stone. All of the output is taken by the Sloss 
Iron & Steel Company. 

Following the successful operation of this .quarry J. 
W. Worthington & Co. opened the Dolcito dolomite 
quarry alojag the same deposit towards the North-east. 
The Dolcito quarry was opened in July 1895, the first 
shipments being made about August 1st. to the Tennessee 
Coal, Iron & Railroad Co. This quarry furnished 425,000 
tons of stone to the close of 1897, and has a fine equip- 
ment, power drills, wire-rope transmission irom the face 
to the crusher, &c. It has a daily capacity of 500 tons 
of crushed stone and 500 tons of lump stone. The aver- 



70 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 

age analysis of the Dolcito dolomite has already been 
given. 

From its North Birmingham quarry the Sloss Iron & 
Steel Company is now obtaining dolomite that averages 
less than 0.50% of silica. 

After Mr. Meissner had shown that good dolomite 
could be obtained within the immediate vicinity of 
Birmingham and in almost any quantity. Mr. E. 
A. Uehling, manager of the Sloss Iron & Steel 
Company, took the matter up. In an article written for 
the Alabama Industrial & Scientific Society (see Proc. 
Vol. IV, 1894,. p. 24) Mr. Uehling described at some 
length the nature of this stone, and compared its value 
with that of the ordinary limestone of the district. 

7^his paper was published in full in the first edition, 
ana from it is taken the following : 

''In determining the value of a stone as a flux, it is 
not only necessary to deduct the iiripurities it contains 
but in addition to that, as much of the base as is neces- 
sary to flux these impurities. What remains only can 
be considered as available flux, and has value in the 
blast furnace. To get at the available flux, we must de- 
duct 2 per cent, from the carbonate of lime for each unit 
per cent, impurity in the stone. Taking the limestone 
at 96 per cent, of carbonate of lime and deducting from 
this 8 per cent, to take care of its own impurities, we 
have left for available flux 88 per cent, of carbonate of 
lime. 

'*As the average dolomite contains only 2 per cent, of 
impurities and 43 per cent, of carbonate of magnesia 
with 55 per cent, of carbonate of lime, we will have, 
after deducting 4 per cent, from the carbonate of lime^ 
51 per cent, of this material, and 43 per cent, of carbon- 
ate of magnesia. 



THE FLUXES. 71 

^ Reducing the carbonate of magnesia to its equivaleal^ 
in fluxing power of carbonate of lime, we have, because 
the fluxing powers of the two carbonates are to each 
other as 84 to 100, 

43x100 

x51=10249. 

84 

The relatiue values of the two available fluxing ma- 
terials of the district are, therefore, to each other as 88 
is to 102.19. That means that 88 tons of dolomite will 
do as much work in the Hast furnace as 102.19 tons of 
limestone. Put into dollars and cents, this means thai 
if dolomite chu be bought for 69 cents a ton, limestone 
is worth only 52 cents a ton ; or if limestone costs 60 
cents, dolomit*' is worth 69,5 cents a ton. 

There is only one valid objection that can be brought 
Up against the use of dolomite as a flux in the blast fur- 
naces, and that is that magnesium has less affinity for 
Sulphur than calc um has, and dolomite is therefore less 
efficient as a d^sulphnrizer than limestone, to the extent 
tliHt caustic lime is displaced by magnesia. 

This object, howevt^r, becomes quite insignificant 
where the ores are free from sulphur, as is the case in 
the Birmingham district. When a considerable propor- 
tion of hard ore is used in the mixture, its lime, in con- 
nection with what is contained in the dolomite itself, is 
ample to take care of the sulphur contained in the coke. 

One-quarter to one-half dolomite has been regularly 
used in the Sloss furnaces for nearly two years, and, at 
intervals, as high as three-fourths have been put on with 
the best results. The ore mixture being half hard and 
halflrondale (soft) at the city furnaces, and from one- 
fourth to one- third brown with, generally, equal propor- 



72 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

tions of Irondale (soft) and hard at the North Birming* 
ham furnaces. 

The coke used contained considerably above the aver- 
age amount of sulphur found in the coke of the district. 

The iron was of as good quality as could have been 
produced with all limestone as a flux, and the furnaces 
have worked more regularly than they did prior to the 
use of dolomite. The assertion that the use of dolomite 
has a tendency to make light colored iron is not sustain- 
ed by fact. Some of the most celebrated foundry irons 
are made with all dolomite as a flux. The writer had 
used it for years, while in charge of the blast furnaces 
of the Bethlehem Iron Uomp iny. prior to coming down 
here, and experienced no difficulty in keeping the sul- 
|)hui' within the required limits, even with ores contain- 
ing as hi^h as 1.5 per cent, of that element. 

The Illinois Steel Co. are also using dolomite ex- 
clusively in their Joliet Works. They are doing very 
g<»od work, and have no trouble with the sulphur what- 
ever. 

The deficiency of dolomite to carry off" sulphur is 
pr<'bably very much exagerated. Tliere are impure 
dolomites as well as impuie limestones; but when of 
good quality and used intelligently and without preju- 
<ii(e, it always gives good satisfaction. In addition to 
itw superior fluxing power there is decidedly less ten- 
d*ncy to 'hanging' with dolomite than with carbonate 
of lime." 

We can not agree with Mr.Uehling that dolomite is a 
less efficient desulphurizer than limestone. Experience 
hi vi^ with all kinds of burdens in the manufacture of 
basic iron, in which H was required that the maximum 
sulphur should be 0.050%, has shown the contrary. 
When limestone was used exclusively it was with difl&- 
culty that the specifications as to sulphur were met, and 



THE FLUXBB. 78 

the percentage of casts with maximum sulphur 0.050^ 
was very much less than when dolomite was used ex* 
clusivelj. These conclusions are based on the analysis of 
some 1500 casts. Speaking with reference to the man- 
ufacture of low-silicon, low-sulphur iron if any one 
thing was abundantly proved it was that limestone 
failed to give any thing like such good results as dolo- 
mite, not only with respect to silicon, but also and es- 
pecially with respect to sulphur. This whole matter 
was carefully worked over by the writer in an article on 
'*The Manufacture of Basic Iron in Alabama," pub- 
lished in The Mineral Industry, Vol. V. 1896. 

It may be regarded as practically settled that as a de- 
sulphurizer in the blast furnace dolomite is quite as 
•efficient as limestone for ordinary grades of iron, and 
much more efficient for basic iron requiring unusually 
low-sulphur. 

With respect to the effect of dolomite on the silicon of 
the silvery and the soft irons we are not prepared to 
make a positive statement at this time. By some the 
low silicon that has characterized these irons during the 
last two years has been attributed lo the prevailing use 
of dolomite. And yet some furnaces that do not use 
dolomite at all are troubled in the same way. 

The low silicon in the *hot' irons may be due in part, 
at least, to the increasing amount of limy ore that is 
being used. A very basic slag requires a very high heat 
for perfect fusion, and it makes no great difference 
whether the lime is in the ore, or is added in the shape 
of limestone. The more basic the slag the greater the 
heat required to melt it, and the more pronounced the 
tendency towards exceeding the point at which the sili- 
con enters the iron. 

1 here is a point at which silicon fails to combine with 
iron because the temperature is not sufficient for the re- 



74 GBLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 

duction of silica. May there not also be a point at 
which silicon fails to enter the iron because (a) the tem- 
perature is too high, or (b) the slag is too basic? If 
silica is deoxidized the resulting metalloid alloys with 
iron, and in the measure in which the deoxidation goes 
on in the same measure will high-silicon irons be pro- 
duced. 

» 

Ten years ago when there was less limy ore used than 
is the case now, there was no special diflBculty in making- 
silvery and soft irons. The difficulty was in keeping^ 
the silicon down, for Mr. Kenneth Robertson informs us. 
(Trans. Amer. Inst. Min. Engrs., Vol. XVII, 1888- 
3889, P. 94 et seq.) that No. 1 Foundry iron carried 
3.6u% of silicon, while No. 1 Mill, which was also 
called No. 3 Foundry, carried 2.87%. Unfortunately 
Mr, Robertson does not give the analysis of the irons 
according to the burden on which they were made. He 
does say that 54.81% of the total make was foundry- 
iron, but analyses are what is needed for a discussion of 
this kind, not calculations as to the proportion of foun- 
dry grades made, for the grades included under this, 
classification are not the same now as they were then. 

It would require a great deal of labor to look over the 
records of those days with a view to a^^certaining the ef- 
fect of the burden on the silicon content of the iron, if 
indeed the investigation would lead to anv definite in- 
formation, for chemical analyses were not then carried 
on with this purpose. There has not been very much 
improvement in this respect of more recent years, and 
even today chemists here are not expected to examine the: 
furnace records. Still, enough information has beert 
gathered to warrant one in saying that the tendency of 
limy ore burdens is towards decrease of silicon. 

The subject is referred to here because it is not a mat- 



THE FLUXES. 75 

ter of indifference as to whether the flux shall go in 
with the ore or be added as limestone. 

In the light of the experience of the last two jears it 
begins to look'as if furnace managers would do well to 
examine into the effect of dolomite on the content of sil- 
icon, and tQ cultivate the laboratory more systematically. 
-A chemist who is made to feel that he has nothing to do 
"^vith the burdening of the furnace soon restricts himself 
"fco the merest routine work, and regards the questions 
of more lime or less lime, more hard ore or less hard ore, 
limestone or dolomite with an indifference born of re- 
;^eated rebuffs. 

In the chapter on Furnace Burdens there is given a 

T>lank form which has proved to be extremely useful. It 

zmay, of course, be modified to suit any emergencies. 

IProperly filled out with additional information as to the 

amount and heat of the blast, silicon content of the irons 

Ac, it would enable the chemist to be of far greater 

Talue to the furnace than he can ever be if regarded 

merely as an analyst whose business begins and ends 

with the grinding out of a certain number of results every 

day. If a chemist is worth anything at all he is worth 

trusting. If he can not be trusted with all kinds of 

information as to the working of the furnace he should 

not be trusted to make analyses, and unless he can 

know what goes into the furnace his knowledge of what 

comes out is of no use to him , and but little to any one 

else.- 



76 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 



CHAPTER IV. 



FUEL. 



The fuel used in the blast furnaces of the State is 
coke and charcoal. There are no known seams of coal 
that could be used without coking, as is done in Ohio in 
this country, and in Scotland, particularly, abroad. 

Coke. 

There is, perhaps, no subject connected with the iron 
business that gives rise to more discussion than that of 
coke. There are so many diflFerent kinds made, and so 
great diversity among them in respect of chemical and 
physical properties, that it is almost a hopeless task to 
attempt to set the matter forward in a manner satis- 
factory to all concerned. In this State, which produces 
about 10 per cent, of the coke made in the United States, 
there is a very considerable diflference in quality between 
the various grades of this fuel. 

This chapter is not a treatise on coke, nor is it neces- 
sary to enter upon the subject beyond what is required 
to explain the situation. 

Three kinds of coke are made here, from lump coal, 

run of mines, and washed slack, and each of these three 

may be 48 hr. or 72 hr. coke. Regarded in this way, 

and excluding mixtures, of which there may be endless 

variety, we have six diflFerent kinds to-wit : 

48 hour — 72 hour — 

Lump, Lump, i 

Run of mines, Run of mines, 

Washed slack, Washed slack. 



FusLis. 77 

The oiUinary practice is to use 48 hr. coke, and per- 
haps 90 per cent, of the coke is of this kind. The chief 
difference between the 48 hr. coke and the 72 hr. coke is 
in the strength, or the ability to resist abrasion and 
crushing, the latter having somewhat the advantage in 
this respect. 

The following table gives the results of some expeiri- 
ments undertaken to establish the crushing strain of 
some of the principal cokes used for blast furnace and 
foundry purposes. The table given in the first edition 
of this book gave tests on coke made here in 1891-92. 
Since that time there have been* many improvements, 
and it has been thought best to substitute a new table 
for the old one. The later results represent the pres- 
ent composition of the cokes, and in addition the com- 
position of the ash. It is much to be regretted that all 
the Alabama cokes are not represented, but it has been 
impossible to secure the proper samples. Enough, how- 
ever, is given to show the quality of some of the chief 
varieties of this fuel now used in the State. 



78 



OEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 



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FUELS. 79 

TABLE VII. 

72HR. BEE-HIVECOKE, MADE FROM WASHED 
PKATT SLACK. 



So. 


i 


11 






1=^ 


< 


i 


]8 


1.153 


1.848 


37 60 


32.60 


nr. 


13.10 


0.90 


19 


1.131 


1.8fil 


39.80 


35.30 


575 


13.20 


0.95 


SO 


1.057 


1.S21 


41.98 


39.72 


537 


8.70 


131 


21 


],0I3 


1.S5B 


4640 


44.78 


675 


11.30 


0,92 


22 


0,701 


1.810 


40.41 


48,00 


725 


9.10 


1.10 


23 


1.217 


i.aei 


34l>3 


27 28 


660 


6,50 


o.9e 


2i 


0-971 


1891 


48 83 


50.08 


675 


8,30 


1.05 


25 




1.890 


38.60 


33,40 


450 


7.40 




26 


0.967 


I. a 10 


46 M 


48,U 


700 


7.70 


1.00. 


27 


1.071 


1.813 


40W 


38.22 


800 


9.40 


1.04 


28 


8aa 


1,850 


53.30 


61,80 


43J 


8,50 




29 


0.S40 


1.763 


54 20 


67.60 


420 


B-00 


094 


■ 30 


O.fllO 


1,805 


60.25 


6530 


460 


g,:^ 


0.97 


Aver. 


i.0O3 


l.g3H 


44.48 


4,.77 


558 


9,34 


1.02 



48 h: . Disintegrated Pratt Nut. Not Washed. 



31 
32 


0866 
0.812 


1.3o9 


48.00 
40 65 


55.M 

49.62 


400 


11.55 
14.02 


1.30 
1.40 


Aver. 


0,839 


1.513- 


i4,27 


52,48 


362 


12, 7« 


1.35 



72 hr. Disintegrated Pratt Nut. Not Washed. 



0,30 I 1. 26 

.0.40 I 1.22- 



QBOLOQICAL SDBTBT OF ALABAMA. 

TABLE VII— Continued. 
48 hr. Washed and Dieintegnted Pntt Slack. 









1^ 


=s,., 


Is. 






No. 


p 


.^1 

r 




Ilil 




1 


1 


36 


996 


1-850 


46.10 


46 20 


650 


10.10 


0P8 


SB 


0.881 




66.20 


60.40 


400 


1080 


1.00 


37 


1,000 


1805 


44.40 


44.10 


r,7o 


10 30 


1.03 


38 


0M2 


1.B95 


4912 


66.06 


700 


10 70 


1.06 


80 


0.828 


1.818 


46.00 


45.50 


500 


900 


0.96 


40 


I.IOO 


1850 


40..TO 


36 60 


875 


1120 


1 10 


41 


0,920 


1.630 


44 90 


48-80 


626 


0.90 


1.00 


Aver. 


0,938 


1.784 


49 6'i 


49.85 


689 


1012 


1.02 



72 hr. Washed and Disintegrated Pratt Slack. 



42 
43 


1.880 
0.956 


1.860 

1.822 


38.20 41.00 
47.80 1-60,00 


750 
760 


980 
9.28 


1.04 
1,02 


Aver. 


1.143 1 1.836 


42 90 1 46.60 




9.27 


1.03 



Black Creek— 48 hr. 



44 


1 0.90ffl 1.84 146.20 | 62.00 


1 400 1 8.90 


1 0.79 


Milldale (StandBrd C. & C. Go.,) 72 hr. 


46 


1 0.961 1 1.88 1 47.00 ] 62.60 


645 1 7.60 


0.80 


Jefferson C. & C. Co., Lewisburg. 


48 


j 0.84 1 1.764 52.46 62 54 | 


531 1 10.30 


0,68 


Gas Carbon. 


47 


1 1.25 1 2.10 1 40:50 | 43,00 


600 1 6.90 . 


1.23 



FUBLS. 81 

The analyses here given show that these cokes fall 

naturally into two main groups, characterized by the 

porosity (cell space) and the size of the cells. With 

regard to this principle of classification we have coke in 

which the percentage of cells by volume is just above 50,. 

and coke in which the percentage of cells by volume is 

just above 40: To the first group belongs the Blue 

Creek coke, and to the second the Pratt coke. Th^ 

figures given are in each case averaged from a number 

of determinations on separate prices, not less than 5« 

£tnd in most cases 10. For 48 hr. Blue Creek coke made 

:fTom washed slack the averages are : 

-Apparent specific gravity 0.853 

'« " 1.764 

'er cent, of cells by volume 52.18 

^^olume of cells in 100 parts by weight 61 .59* 

iompressive strain ! 474 lbs, 

11.05 

lulphur 0.94 



For 48 hr. Pratt coke made from washed slack the. 
•^iverages are : 

^Apparent specific gravity 1.046- 

True '' '' 1.839 

IPer cent, of cells by volume 42.96 

""Volume of cells in 100 parts by weight 41.49 

Oompressive strain 464 lbs. 

^sh 9.16 

Sulphur 0.95 

There is a marked difference in these two cokes, the 
one exhibiting a large cell, and the other a small cell,, 
"while in strength they are about equal. For determin- 
ing the specific gravities, and the cell space tho method 

6 



82 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

first proposed by Dr. T. Sterry Hunt in 1863, and modi- 
fied by Dr. F. P. Dewey was used with certain changes. 
Instead of using the air pump, which is indeed is not 
necessary, the samples were boiled in water for 16 hrs. 
and allowed to stand 16 hrs. in water before weighing. 
For the compressive strain one inch cubes were accu- 
rately cut from sound pieces of coke with a hack-saw, 
and a Star blade, using a miter-box. f^^i^ "^^^ very 
tedious, and some of the cubes required as many as -6 
blades. Coke is very destructive to st^el saws. Per- 
haps the best tool would be one of the diamond wheels 
used in preparing specimens of rocks for the mic]H>s- 
cope . 

In each case at least 3 cubes were cut, and care was 
taken to have them free of cracks and pieces of slate. 

They were crushed in a standard Riehle Testing Ma- 
chine, operated by hai^d, and reading to 3,000 lbs. It 
was observed that now and then some cubes of 72 hr. 
and 96 hr. coke withstood more than 3,000 lbs. ^ress, 
but this does not often occur, and is immaterial as a 
coke testing 3,000 lbs. is certainly stroog enough. 

It must be understood in all discussions of the pliysi- 
cal qualities of coke that great differences may be found 
in samples from the same oven, and indeed in sao^ples 
from the same part of the oven. Too much importance 
should not, therefore, be laid upon such investigations, 
for one may very easily be mislead, and draw entirely 
erroneous conclusions. In connection with chemical 
analyses physical tests may be relied upon, in compar- 
ing one coke with another, to give fairly accurate data, 
but they should be accepted only if based upon a long 
series of dete rminations in wibich the conditions of manu- 
facture are positively 'known. Thesizeaf the coal coked, 
the amourotof wtfter it lidl^ds. tthe rapiftity at the^tcakmg 
process and its duration, ^he amount of waller oiBed in 



FUSL8 . 83 

quenching, and whether iaside or outside watering is 
used are some of the factors to be considered. Within 
certain limits the chemical composition of the coal ap- 
pears to be of less influence upon the physical qualities 
of the coke than the factors just mentioned. 

The 72 hr. bee-hive coke made from washed Pratt 
slack does not differ materially from the 48 hr. except 
as to its strength, giving 558 lbs. as against 464 lbs. 
It is especially adapted for foundry purposes, the in- 
crease of strength being of greater benefit here than in 
the blast furnace. In respect of strength the 48 hr. un- 
washed, but disintegrated Pratt nut is much inferior to 
the 72 hr. The disintegration of Pratt nut coal, un- 
washed, and subsequent coking, whether for 48 hrs. or 
72 hrs. appear to yield a coke of about the same percent- 
age of cells by volume as the 48 hr. and 72 hr. washed 
slack, but the volume of the cells- is much larger, viz., as 
53 to 41. The strength of the unwashed disintegrated 
Pratt nut of 48 hrs. is inferior to that of the 48 hr. 
washed slack, while that of the 72 hr. unwashed, disin- 
tegrated nut is somewhat above the strength of the 72 
hr. washed slack. In other words, disintegrating the 
unwashed nut coal gave a coke of about the same per-* 
centage of cells by volume, and increased the size of the 
cells, but failed to better the coke with respect to crush- 
ing strain. 

Washed and disintegrated Pratt slack, whether coked 
for 48 hrs. or 72 hrs, , makes a fine coke in every respect. 
In order to compare these cokes with standard Pennsyl- 
Tania and Virginia cokes we append results obtained by- 
Mr. John Fulton, and given in his excellent Treatise 
on Coke. 

The average standard Connellsville coke shows : 

True specific gravity 1.77 



84 GBOLOGICAL SURVAT OF ALABAffA. 

Per cent, of cells by volume 45.8T 

Volume of cells in 100 parts by weight 54,18 

Compressive strain 279 Ibs^ 

Ash 10.58 

Sulphur .81 

Two cokes from Big Stone Gap, Va., showed on the^ 
average : 

True specific gravity 1.64 

Per cent, of cells by volume 44.78 

Volume of cells in 100 parts by weight 55 .22 

Compressive strain 285 Ibs^ 

Ash 5.61 

Sulphur. 0.87 

Pocahontas coke gave : 

Apparent specific gravity 1 .83 

Per cent, of cells by volume .* 52.07 

Volume of cells in 100 parts by weight 47.93 

Compressive strain 236 lbs.. 

Ash 5.88 

Sulphur 0.73 

Mr. Fulton gives also the results from an examination 
of Blocton coke, Ala., as follows : 

True specific gravity 1.75 

Per cent, of cells by volume 49.97 

Volume of cells in 100 parts by weight 50.03 

Compressive strain 409 lbs* 

Ash 6.94 

Sulphur 0.74 

The writer found the average of two samples of Bloc- 
ton coke, 48 hr. bee-hive: * 



FUELS. 85 

True specific gravity 1.65 

Per cent, of cells by volume 44.46 

Tolume of cells in 100 parts by weight 45.98 

Compressive strain 737 lbs. 

Ash 5.80 

Sulphur 1 .35 

And a sample of Pocahontas (Stonega) coke gave : 

True specific gravity 1.84 

Per cent, of cells by volume 53 .83 

Volume of cells in 100 parts by weight 63 01 

Compressive strain 588 lbs. 

Ash 6.50 

Sulphur 0.75 

Coke made at Earlington, Kentucky, by the Sc. Ber- 
nard Coal Company, gave for 48 hr. bee-hive : 

True specific gravity 1.69 

Per cent, of cells by volume 53.47 

Volume of cells in 100 parts by weight. 67.67 

Compressive strain 275 ft 

Ash 14.60 

Sulphur 1.74 

^ot to protract this matter further, although many 
more tests could be given, we close with a 72 hr, bee 
hive coke, made at Brookside, Ala., by the Sloss Steel & 
Iron Company, of washed slack : 

True specific gravity 1.87 

Per cent, of cells bv volume 55.00 

Volume of cells in 100 parts by weight. . 65.20 

Compressive strain 320 lbs. 

Ash 10. 

Sulphur 1.25 



86 GEOLOGICAL SUBVBY OF ALABAMA. 

Some investigations have been made as to the effect of 
carbonic acid on red hot coke, but other and more press 
ing work prevented their completion. Some high au- 
thorities, among them Sir I. Lowthian Bell, have recom- 
mended that the action of carbonic acid on red hot coke 
be included among the determining factors in the valua- 
tion of^ coke for blast furnace purposes. But the writer 
is not disposed to think that such data are of much, if 
any, importance. The gases in a blast furnace are mix- 
tures of carbonic acid, carbonic oxide, hydrogen, oxygen, 
and nitrogen, with aqueous vapor also. It is not known 
what effect, if any, is produced by carbonic acid in the 
presence of these other gases. It is not as if carbonic 
acid were the only gas that would or could act upon the 
coke, for as a matter of fact it is always accompanied by 
other gases in greater or less quantities. Doubtless the 
dissolving action of carbonic acid upon red hot coke is 
an important phenomenon, and one well worthy of study, 
but until it is known whether the other gases exert a 
neutral, an accelerating or a deterring effect upon this 
dissolving tendency it does not appear that much pra<^- 
tical information is gained . The matter of zone reactions 
in the furnace also complicates the question, as well as 
that of the occlusion of gases in coke. 

The average composition of the cokes used in the State 
is as follows : 

Coke from Run of Mines Coal. 

PER CENT. 

Moisture : 0.75 

Volatile and combustible matter 0.75 

Fixed carbon 84.50 

Ash 14-00 



100.00 
Sulphur 0.90—1.60 per cent. 



Coke from Washed Slack. 

Moisture. 0.75 

Volatile and combustible matter 0.75 

Fixed carbon 88.50 

Ash 10.00 



100.00 
Sulphur 0.80—1.10 per cent. 

Coke from Lump Coal. 

Moisture 0.7& 

Volatile and combustible matter 0.75 

Pixed carbon . . 87.00 

Ash 11.50 



100.00 
Sulphur 1.00—1.30 per cent. 

In chemical composition there does not seem to be any- 
material difference between the 48 hr. and the 72 hr. 
coke. 

The composition of the ash of the various cokes in use 
may be given as follows : 

Run of Mines, 

Silica / 47.03 

Ferric oxide 1 2 46 

Alumina 33.62 

Lime I 53 

Magnesia 1 ()9 

Sulphur 0.15 



88 GEOLOGICAL SURVBY OP ALABAMA. 

Washed Slack, 

Silica 45.10 

Ferric oxide 12.32 

Alumina 31.60 

Lime 1.50 

Magnesia Trace. 

Sulphur 0.14 

Lvmp . 

Silica 46.00 

Ferric oxide 12.00 

Alumina 32.00 

Lime 1.00 

Magnesia .50 

Sulptjur : 0.16 

Ir would be interesting to know if the amount of ash 
and its composition influenced the strength of the coke, 
or whether the treatment of the coal, prior to charging 
the ovens, and the duration and temperature of the pro* 
cess should alone be looked to in explanation of this 
point. 

It does not seem probable that the amount of ash or 
its composition, per 86, would influence the strength of 
the coke as much as the distribution of the ash coustitu- 
enis in the coal. 

That is, if the coal was finely pulverized before charg- 
ing tliere would be a more equable distribution of the 
ash-constituents with consequent uniformity of composi- 
tion in the coke. But uniformity of composition, how- 
ever desirable, does not necessarily imply increase in 
strength. Granting that there would be increase in 
strength is this effect beneficial when the coke is already 
strong enough? If the coke made from any coal, with- 
out pulverizing, were already strong enough, the only 
advantage in pulverizing would be in the greater uni- 
formity of composition. But some coals do not yield 



FUELS. 89. 

strong coke unless they are pulverized. Whether this is 
<iue to the irregularity of the distribution of the ash, or 
the bituminous matter, or the relation between the coking 
^nd the non-coking constituents of the coal, is not known. 
When, however, such coals scte pulverized they often 
make excellent coke. 

The composition of the ash of coke, by affecting its 
iusibility, may affect also its strength, the s'ize and shape 
of the cells and the thickness of the cell walls. But of 
such matters very little is known . 

It requires a great deal of time to make such investi- 
gations, as well as skill and perseverance. 

The composition of the ash of coal, whatever effect it 
may have on the quality of the coke made from it, cer- 
tainly has an important bearing on furnace practice. It 
must influence the fusibility of the burden, and to a 
greater or lesser degree affect the consumption of lime- 
stone, whether this be the carbonate of lime in the hard 
ore, or extra stone. The more acid the ash the more 
base is required for fluxing. 

The amount* of coke used per ton of iron varies, of 
course, with the nature of the coke, and of the other 
constituents of the burden ; with the kind of iron made, 
the shape and size of the furnace, the rate of driving, 
and other circumstances grouped generally under the 
term '^furnace practice." The range is from 1.16 to 
1.72 tons of 2240 pounds. From an fxamination of 
150,000 tons of iron made from 1890 to 1895 under vary- 
ing conditions the lowest consumption for a period of 
one month was 1.16 tons per ton of iron. In this par- 
ticular case the furnace was working on all brown ore, 
the burden being composed of brown ore 52.9, limestone 
20.4, and coke 26.7. The tons of iron made per charge 
Jvas 1.53 tons, number of charges 1802, total iron made 
i766 tons, of which 99.1 per cent, was of foundry grades. 



90 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

The consumption of materials per ton of iron made was 
ore 2.3 X tons, stone 0.89 ton, and coke 1.16. 

The particular case in which 1.72 tons of coke were 
used per ton of iron made was when a furnace was run- 
ning on the following mixture, stated as percentages, 
hard ore 53.7, soft ore 34.2, brown ore 12.1. The entire 
burden was composed as follows, in percentages, hard 
ore 28.5, soft ore 18.2, brown ore 6.3, limestone 10.6^ 
coke 36.4. The iron made per charge was 1.88 tons,, 
number of charges 1819, total iron made 3418 tons, of 
which 92 per cent, was of foundry grades. The con- 
sumption of material in tons per ton of iron was as fol- 
lows : 

Ore 2.51 

Stone 0.49^ 

Coke 1.71 

The average consumption of coke per ton of iron may 
be taken ai 1.41 tons of 2240 pounds. This would mean 
that for producing the 835,851 tons of co6e iron in 1895- 
there were used 1 ,179,375 tons of coke and that 250,000 
tons of coke made in the State during that year were- 
diverted to some other purpose. 

The average for the best coke made in the State may 
be taken at 1.30 tons of 2240 pounds for a ton of iron of 
2240 pounds. A pound of iron has been made in the^ 
State witli less than a pound of coke, but for a very lim- 
ited period. 

This matter will be taken up more fully in the chap- 
ter on Furnace Burdens, as tables have been prepared 
based on more than 83,000 charges and an iron produc* 
tion of nearly 150,000 tons over a period of several years.. 

There has been a notable decrease in the consumption 



FUELS. 91 

of coke per ton of iron since the introduction of coke 
made from washed slack coal. It is much superior to 
ordinary coke both in structure and composition, and 
might be still further improved by pulverizing the coal 
before charging the oven, as in this way a better distri- 
bution of the ash is rendered possible as well as a 
stronger coke. 

No constituent of the burden responds as readily to 
variations in furnace practice as coke. It forms gener- 
ally more than a third of the burden, and always more 
than half of the total cost of the materials entering into 
a ton of iron is chargeable to coke. It is not only the 
most costly single ingredient, it is more costly than the 
ore and the stone taken together. 

Economy in the use of coke is, therefore, the most 
important economy that can be set on foot and carried 
out in connection with the manufacture of pig iron in 
this State. Better ore and better stone are needed if 
there is to be no better coke. To improve the ore and 
the stone is to increase the yield of iron per charge, and 
to decrease the consumption of the most costly material 
entering the furnace, i. e. coke. 

The following table gives a bird's eye view of the coke 
industry in Alabama from 1880 to the close ot 1897, and 
is compiled from the reports of Joseph D. Weeks to the 
United States Geological Survey, Divi^on Mineral Re- 
sources, with additional statistics for 1896 and 1897. 

The greatly lamented death of Mr. Weeks, on the 26th 
of December, 1896, removed from the industrial world 
one of the best statisticians, and one whose contributions 
to the manufacture of coke were always especially recog- 
nized and appreciated. 



92 



GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 



TABLE VIII. 
Coke Ovens in Alabama. 






QQ 

C 

^* 

2 



Ovens. 



Built. 



(lU 



Building 



c 


•o 


o 


V 


H 


'§ 




'S 


a> 


f J 


QQ 


pu, 


^^ 


0) 


08 


^ 


O 


o 


O 


Q 



GO 

c 



si o 



Value of Coke. 



-08 

O 

H 



c 



1880 
1881 
1882 
1883 
1884 
1885 
1886 
1887 
1888 
1889 
1890 
1891 
1892 
1893 
1894 
1895 
1896 



4 

4 

5 

6 

8 

11 

14 

15 

18 

19 

20 

21 

20 

23 

22 

22 

24 



1897125 1 



316 

416 

536 

767 

976 

1,075 

1,301 

1,555 

2,475 

3,944 

4,8aD 

5,068 

5,320 

5,548 

5,551 

5,658 

5,363 

5.365 



100 
120 



122 

242 

16 

1,012 

1,362 

406 

427 

371 

50 

90 

60 

50 

50 



120 



106,283 

184,881 

261,839 

::59,699 

413,184 

507,934 

635,120 

550,047 

848,608 

1,746,277 

1,809,964 

2,144,277 

2,585,966 

2.015,398 

1,574,245 

2,459,465 

1,769,^20 

2,451,475 



60,781 57 

109,033 59 

152,940 58 

217,531 60 

244,009 60 

301.180 59 

375,054 59 

325,020 59 

508,511 60 

1,030,510' 59 

1,072,942 59 

1,282,4961 60 

1,501,5711 58 

1.168.08oi 58 

923,817 58.7 

1,444.339 58.7 

1,038,707 58.7 

1,443,017 58.8 



f 



183,063 

326,819 

425,940 

598,473 

609,185 

755,645 

993,302 

775,090 

1,189,579 

2,372,417 

2,589.447 

2,986,242 

3,464,623 

2,64W,632 

1,871,348 

3,033,521 

2,181,284 

3,094,461 



$3.01 
3.00 
2.79 
2.75 
2.50 
2.50 
2.65 
2.39 
2.34 
2.30 
2.41 
2.33 
2.31 
2.27 
2 26 
2.10 
2.10 
2.14 



The average value of the coal used in making coke in 

1895 was 87i cents per ton ; in 1896, 79 6-10 cents ; and 
in 1897, 83i cents. There were no new ovens built in 

1896 or 1897. 

Mr. Jas. D. Hillhouse, State Mine Inspector, makes 
the production of coke in 1896, 1,689,307 tons, and the 
number of ovens 4,494. 

As of interest in connection with coke and coking 
operations, there is given here an article, by the author, 
on coking in a Bee-hive oven, published in the Engi- 
neering and Mining Journal, N. Y., and also part of a 
report made to the Sloss I. & S. Co. on the use of Pratt 
washed slack coal in the Otto Hoffman oven, published 
in the American Manufacturer and Iron World. 



FUELS. 95 

COKING IN A BBB-HIVB OVBN. 

(The Engineering dnd Mining Journal, Vol. lxiv, Nos. 25 and 26, and 

Vol. Lxv, No. 3.) 

It has for several years been of interest to me to ob- 
serve the progressive changes that took place in a bee- 
hive oven from the moment of charging the coal to the 
withdrawal of the coke. The opportunity of observing 
and noting these changes from hour to hour was pre- 
sented lately, and gladly accepted, and for nearly 48 
hours the oven was closely watched. The observations 
^were taken in person. The coal used was washed slack, 
from the Pratt seam. 

The oven was of the usual bee-hive type, of 12 feet 
cliameter, the spring of the arch beginning at 26 in. from 
the floor. The door was 2i ft. wide and 3 ft. high. 
The trunnel head was 14 in. deep and 14 in. in diameter. 
The weight of washed slack charged was 11,575 lbs., but 
as it contained 5% of moisture the dry weight was 
11,024 lbs. The oven was charged at 11 :50 a. m., and, 
after leveling, the top of the coal was 4 ft. below the 
bottom of the trunnel head. The door was bricked up at 
once. A charge of coke had been drawn from the oven 
during the morning, so that it was hot. Within a few 
minutes after charging there was an odor of light hydro- 
carbons from the door and from the trunnel head, and in 
20 minutes, after charging, this odor became quite per- 
oeptible. For the first two hours there was no flame, 
t)ut the evolution of a grayish-black smoke* became more 
&nd more intense. At 2 :30 p. m, 2 hours and 40 min- 
Xites after charging, the first flame appeared and burned 
"Xvith a decided reddish tinge until 3 :30, or one hour, 
''vrhen it became yellowish. For the next two hours the 
ifiame from the trunnel head was yellowish and smoky. 
On top of the coal the flame was yellowish, streaked 



94' GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

with grayish- black bands of smoke, which seemed to lie 
rather closely to the coal. By six o'clock, six hours 
after charging and 3i hours after the first ignition, the 
flame from the trunnel head was 4 ft. high and of a de- 
cided yellowish color. At seven o'clock, 4i hours after 
ignition, the oven was perceptibly hotter, the flame was 
burning fiercely, and there were wibps of blackish-gray 
smoke in the oven. There were but few signs of fritting, 
although the smoke in the oven might have obscured 
them had they been present. Shortly after seven o'clock 
I was unfortunately called away and could not return 
for two hours, ao there were no observations until at ,10 
o'clock, 7i hours after ignition ; the flame had then lost 
its distinctive yellowish cast and was decidedly whitish. 
It was still 4 ft. out of the trunnel-head and the oven was 
much hotter. The top of the coal was fritted, cracks of 
considerable size had appeared : there was not much 
smoke in the oven, but white flames were issuing from 
the cracks and burning in a flickering, lambent maimer. 
There was no perceptible swelling up of the coal, but on 
top it was uneven and jagged. The cracks did not seem 
to lie in any special direction, nor to be of any uniform 
size or depth. The play of the flames from the cracks 
was most beautiful. None of them burned steadily, al- 
though none went out. There was no appearance of 
''blows" of gas or any sudden outburst at any spot. 
Now and then a white flame would seem to be sucked 
back into the depths of a crack and to vanish, but at i;io 
time did any. of them go out entirely. There were no 
wisps of smoke in the oven. The flames seemed to burn 
with about the same intensity and there was a remark- 
able uniformity in their height and general appearance. 
Nine hours after ignition. — The fl.^me from the truaael 
he^ad was still frojoi 3 to 4 ft. high, but haid npt changed 
mi^h in )aipp0.ar^pce , b^i^^ stUl decidejdly f^hi^ti^ ; .1,4; 



FUELS. .9 5 

^vras thinner than before. Inside the oven the cracks in 
the coal were wider, and deeper and the coal was much 
more broken and jagged. In several places, noticeably 
beneath the trunnel head, the coal had sunk, and there 
were crater-like depressions, from which flickering white 
flames issued and had a slightly bluish tinge. The oven 
was much hotter than at the last observation. Bright 
white flimes burned in jets over the surface of the 
coal, the so-called '^candles" of the coke burner. They 
were distributed irregularly over the surface of the coal, 
burned intermittently, died down and came up again 
from the same place, or close by. About 12 inches of the 
<;oal from the top seemed to be burning, as the door was 
hot for this depth, but cool below. 

T'en hours after ignition, — No apparent change beyond 
the further development of cracks in the coal, and its 
further subsidence. The oven was hotter. 

Eleven hours after ignition. — No appareni change except 
that the oven was much hotter, approaching a white 
heat. The bluish tinge of the flame inside was entirely 
gone. 

There was no specially noticeable change at the 12th 
and 13th hours after ignition, but at the 14th hour 
the oven was of a clear white heat, the inside flames 
were thin and white, and the flames from the trunnel 
head had begun to drop. The cracks in the coal were 
larger and more numerous. The coal had burned down 
to the 24-inch mark on the door. 

Fifteen hours after ignition. — Flames from the trunnel 
head much thinner, burning flercely and swiftly in a 
somewhat streaked fashion. Within the oven the heat 
was ve^y intense, the cracks in the coal were larger and 
white flames of a slightly bluish tinge played irregularly 
o^er the surface. 

At the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th ,and 20th hours after ig- 



96 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

nition there was not much apparent change ; but at the- 
Slst hour the flame from the trunnel head was much' 
thinner than at the 15th hour, and had receded much 
more. By the 22d hour the flame was decidedly thinner 
than at the 21st hour, and from this until the 28th hour 
it gradually became thinner and thinner, and burned 
swiftly with a striated appearance. Inside the oven^ 
the cracks were still developing, and white flames played' 
over the top of the mass. The heat was now well along: 
toward the bottom of the oven. 

Thirty-fourth hour after ignition., — ^There were no- 
special changes in the flame from the 28th to the 34th 
hour, except that it became thinner all the while, and Jt 
the 34th hour was just out of the trunnel head. From* 
this time to the 40th hour the flame gradually drew 
back into the oven, until it could no longer be seen. Butr 
when the oven was opened for drawing, at the end of 
the 46th hour, there were thin jets of bluish white flame* 
now and then on toj of the coke. The door of the oven 
was taken down at the end of the 46th hour after igni- 
tion, and the coke watered inside the oven for 18 min^ 
utes. The oven was drawn by two men in one hour. 
The yield of coke over a fork of 14 tines, 21 inches wide^ 
with spaces li inches in the clear, was 5,875.80 lbs., or 
58.78% of the weight of the dry coal. The weight of 
the dry breeze through the fork was 322 lbs., or 5.13% 
of the weight of the coke over the fork. The proximate 
analysis of the coal used was, on a dry basis : Volatile 
and combustible matter, 32.43% ; fixed carbon, 60.91% ; 
ash, 6.66%. The sulphur was 1.91%. The composi- 
tion of the coke over the fork was, on dry basis : Vola- 
tile and combustible matter, 1.51%; fixed carbon, 
88.90%; ash, 9.59%. The sulphur was 1.37%. The 
composition of the breeze and ashes passing the fork 
was, on dry basis: Volatile and combustible matter, 



FUBLS. 97 

1.47% ; fixed carbon, 56% ; ash, 42.53%. The sulphur 
whs 1.14 per cent. 

The composition of the black ends of the coke, the 
so-called '* black-jack," was on a dry basis: Volatile 
and combustible matter, 1.82 per cent ; fixed carbon, 89 
per cent; ash, 9.18 per cent. The sulphur, 1.29 per 
cent . 

By screening the breeze and ashes over a 1-inch screen 
there was recovered 25 lbs., or 8 per cent of material 
that had the following composition, on a dry basis : 
Volatile and combustible matter, 1 .25 per cent ; fixed 
carbon, 88.40 per cent; ash, iO.35 per cent; sulphur,. 
1.30 per cent ; while the 297 lbs., or 92 per cent, passing 
the 1-inch screen was of the following composition on a 
dry basis: Volatile and combustible matter, 1.25 per 
cent ; fixed carbon, 61.40 per cent ; ash, 37.35 per cent ; 
sulphur, 0.85 per cent. Passing the breeze ^nd ashes 
over a i-inch screen gave 35 per cent over and 65 per cent 
through. The material over the i-incli screen gave, on 
dry basis: Volatile and combustible matter, 1.20 per 
cent; fixed carbon, 80.80 per cent; ash, 18 per cent; 
sulphur, 1 per cent ; while the material passing the i-inch 
screen gave, on dry basis : Volatile and combustible 
matter, 0.80 per cent ; fixed carbon, 51.90 per cent ; ash, 
47.30 per cent ; sulphur, 0.80 per cent. 

It is usual in the Birmingham district to fork coke 
over a li-inch opening, and the amount of breeze and 
ashes left is often a considerable item. It depends to a 
great extent upon the coal itself, but also upon the skill 
of the coke-drawer, the manner in which the oven is 
watered having a great deal to do with it. Coke made 
of washed coal gives much less breeze than the same 
coal unwashed, the difiference at times rising to 50 per 
cent in favor of the washed coal. Irrespective of the 
difiference in the quality of the coke made from uri« 
7 



98 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

washed and from washed coal, which of course is the 
most important matter, the difference in the yield of 
furnace coke, as between the two, is well worth consid- 
ering. 

A second oven was charged with a similar coal on the 
same day, and was operated for 96-hour coke. Weight 
of dry coal charged, 11,024 lbs., the coal containing 5 
per cent of moisture. The yield of dry coke over a 
li-inch fork was 6,350 lbs., or 57.51 per cent of the dry 
coal, or 54.86 per cent of the coal as charged. Time of 
watering, 20 minutes ; time of drawing, one man, 1 
hour 57 minutes weight of breeze and ashes, dry, 240 
lbs., or 2.17 per ceui of the dry coal charged. The 
analysis on dry basis was : 

Breeze and 
Conl. Coke. ashes. 

Vol. and combust, matter. 32.46 1.06 2.68 

Fixed carbon 60.86 89.63 69.79 

Ash 6.68 9.31 27.53 



"■T" 



100.00 100.00 100.00 

Sulphur 1.89 1.34 1.23 

Over a 1-inch screen there was recovered from the 
breeze and ashes 14 lbs. (=5.8 per cent) of material of 
the following composition, dry : Volatile and combusti- 
ble matter, 1.56; fixed carbon, 86 55; ash, 11.89. The 
sulphur was 1.20 per cent. The material passing the 
1-inch screen was not analyzed. 

A third oven was charged on the same day with a 
similar coal, and operated for 72-hour coke. Time of 
watering, 17 minutes ; time of drawing, two men, 55 
minutes; weight of dry coal charged, 11,024 lbs., Or 
with 5 per cent moisture, coal charged, 11,575 lbs. : 
weight of dry coke, 6,590 lbs., over a li-inch fork, or 
59.7 per cent by weight of the dry coal and 56.93 per 
cent of the coal as charged ; weight of breeze and ashes, 
285 lbs. dry, or 2.58 per cetit of the weight of the dry 



FUELS. 99 

:oal charged and 4.33 per cent of the weight of the coke 
>Ter a l^inch fork. The analysis was as follows : 

Breeze and 
Coni, Gokp. asbes. 

/ol. and aombuat. matter. . 32.66 1.71 1.00 

?l3ted carbon tJO 64 88.85 70.97 

Ish 6 ftl O.M 18. M 

10000 100,00 10000 

Sulphur 1.B3 1,31 121 

The composition of the black ends of the coke was : 
Volatile and combustible matter, 2.26; fixed carbon, 
86-52 ; ash, 11.22. The sulphur was 1.28 per cent. 

Screening the breeze and ashes over a 1-inch screen 
gave 34 lbs. (11,9 per cent) of material of the following 
composition, dry : Volatile and combustible matter, 0.80 ; 
fixed carbon 87.64 ; ash 11.66 ; sulphur was 1.28 per cent. 
The material passing the 1-inch screen was oE the follow- 
ing composition, dry: Volatile and combustible matter, 
1.00; fixed carbon, 69.90; ash, 29.10; sulphur, 1.10 
per cent. 

The coal used in these three ovens was the same, 
washed slack, and was of practically the same composi- 
tion. Each buggy of coal was sampled as it was dis- 
charging into the oven. 

In the following table, which embodies the results, 
the composition of the coal is the average of the three 
analyses, and all the calculations are based on dry ma- 
terial : 





























1 


1 






t 


!! 


II 


»2 


'Ps 


% 




= F 






5 


1-" 




ipi 


;?- 


S7S 






i 


^ 


a 


ir 


■^ 


tn 






= ^S 




> 


£ 


■^ 


-n 






as 


1- 




5- 




P.r 


For 


Per 


For 


J^r 




;» 


i-sr 


i>r 


Per 


































































91 l^t- -iki- 




*>.«S 

















100 



GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 



The average yield of dry coke over a li-inch fork, from 
dry coal, was 58.69 per cent. The average increase of ^ 
the fixed carbon was 46.31 per cent and of the ash 43.25 -5 
per cent. The average decrease of the volatile matter ^r 
was 95.94 per cent, and of the sulphur 29.84 per cent. 

As a further contribution to this study, I give the ulti^ — - 
mate analyses of the coal and of the coke, averaged drjr^^ 
basis : 

TABLE X. 



ULTIMATE ANALYSES OF COAL AND COKE. 



CoaL 

Carbon 78.23 

Hydrogen 4.51 

Oxygen 8.98 

Nitrogen 1.56 

Ash 6.72 

lOC.OO 
Sulphur 1.90 



Dense coke. ** Needle " coke^ 



84.56 


97.55 


1.33 


1.12 


4.33 


1.23 


0.18 


0.00 


9.61 


0.10 


100.00 


100 00 


1.31 


o.2r 



Tlie analysis of the needle coke will be commented 
upon later. 

By comparing the proximate composition of the coal 
and of the coke with the ultimate composition several 
very interesting things are observablo. What is termed 
** fixed carbon *' in the proximate analysis of coal is a 
very different thing from tlio carbon obtained on com- 
bustion, being in the one caso GO. 80 % and in the other 
78.23 %. In the proximate analysis the fixed carbon is 
the difference between the sum of the volatile matter 
and the ash and 100, on a dry basis. If the volatile 
matter is 32.48, and the ash 6.72, the fixed carbon is 
100— (32.48 plus 6.72) equals 60.80. But in driving: 



FUELS. 101 

•off the volatile matter, evea in a covered platinum cru- 
'Cible enclosed within another covered crucible, there is 
a serious loss of carbon because the volatile matter itself 
is largely composed of gaseous hydrocarbons together 
with more or less solid carbon goins: off iii the smoke. 
The soot is not pure carbon, but contains some hydro- 
carbon compounds whose nature varies according to cir- 
cumstances, such as the rapidity of the heating, the dur- 
ation of the heating and the nature of the coal itself. 
But tlie question at once arises. Can any of these vola- 
tile hydrocarbons, reckoned as such in the ordinary 
proximate analysis, bo med in tho coke oven, during the 
-coking process, as a source of carbon ? The answer to 
this depends upon the nature of tae liydrojvirbons, the 
temperature of the oven and the thickness of the bed of 
coke over tho still burning coal. 

It is well known that certain hydrocarbon gases evolved 
irom coal at a comparatively low temperature are decom- 
posed at a higher temperature with deposition of carbon ; 
for example, defiant gas, CoH^, and acetylene, C.2H2. 
this latter gas, indeed, decomposing under certain con- 
•ditions, at ordinary temperatures. But defiant gas and 
acetylene do not occur in the destructive distillation of 
•coal beyond a few tenths of 1 per cent., as shown by Dr. 
Fyfe several years ago in the Journal of Gaslighting, and 
Ebelmen found that after being in the oven 7i hours 
coal gave only 1.667 per cent, of carburetted hydrogen 
in the gases collected. It is possible that reactions going 
on within the mass of burning coal and the mass of red-hot 
coke are of such a nature as to allow some of the hydro- 
carbons evolved to deposit carbon ; but it is almost im- 
possible to calculate just how much of this deposited 
carbon there is in any one oven of coke. The very bright 
silvery needles and blades of coke found on bee-hive 
coke are composed of almost pure carbon, the combustion 



102 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

givinor 97.55 p»'P cent. But these blades and needle* 
form an insignificant proportion of the coke, and a very^ 
thin coating of this silvery deposited carbon serves to 
improve the appearance of the coke. Deposited carbon 
mav and probablv does increase the yield of the coke, 
but to a very slight extent, and appears to enhance the 
appearance of the coke without adding much to its 
weight. Some time ago I had an opportunity of secur- 
ing some very fine specimens of deposited carbon from 
a bee-hive oven. Some large lumps of limestone were 
thrown in on top of a charjre to make lime. When the 
coke was ready to water these lumps were taken out be- 
fore the water touched them. I examined them closely 
and found that in the cracks of the lower lumps, and 
indeed upon the surface of some of the smaller pieces, 
which, however, may have come from the larger lumps, 
there were sheets of almost pure carbon, the analysis 
giving about 98 per cent. The sheets were as thick as 
ordinary letter paper, and were somewhat flexible. 
There were countless little globules of bright, silvery^ 
carbon scattered all over the sheets, and under a i inch 
objective these globules were seen to be covered with a 
network of fine lines, running hither and thither. On 
illuminating these globules with a focussing glass in 
bright sunlight, they presented a most beautiful appear, 
ance under the microscope, resembling great globes of 
silver floating in blackness. I have never seen a more^ 
beautiful sight than they exhibited. 

It is a curious circumstance that the appearance pre* 
sented by these globules under the microscope closely 
resembles that given by botryoidal limonite. There is 
the same network of fine lines, dividing the surface into 
many irregular shaped patches. Hair coke, the so-called 
••* whiskers " of the coke burner, is also composed of 
almost pure carbon, and under a 1-12 inch objective are 



FUELS. 103 

often found to be covered with little globules, adhering 
to the sides of the ' ' hair " and looking like pearls strung 
on a silver wire. 

Percy {Metallurgy, Fuel, Etc., pp. 421-422) speaks 
of the hair-like form of coke and gives an explan- 
ation of its origin, through deposition of carbon in tho 
inner surface of carbon tubes blown out by escaping gas. 
The hairs are sometimes completely filled with car- 
l)on, but at other times are hollow, as I have myself 
observed. 

A study of this hair-coke by a competent microscopist 
would certainly be interesting. Now and then the hairs 
are covered with little curved projections, while again 
they resemble a thread partially untwisted so that 
the separate strands are visible. Occasionally they 
are pierced through by minute holes, a high magni- 
fying power showing several holes in lines across the 
hair. 

I have amused myself mounting many specimens of 
coke, deposited carbon, hair-coke, etc., for the microscope 
and in ^observing their peculiarities of structure and 
their exceeding beauty when finely illuminated. Dull 
and uninteresting as coke may seem to the naked eye, 
when properly mounted in balsam and the balsam from 
the upper f)art removed with gasoline there are few ob- 
jects more beautiful under a i inch objective, or even 
a i inch. 

It might be that a microscopic study of coke, and 
especially of the various forms of deposited carbon found 
on coke, would give us some valuable inf )rination, and 
I did begin such a study, but the pressure of other mat- 
ters forced me to abandon the investigation at the tim^% 
and since then I have been unable to resume it. 

My excuse for this degression must be that in these 
forms of carbon, whether sheets, or blades, or needles^ 



104 



GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 



or hair, we seem to have nearly pare forms of deposited 
Carbon. 

Percy {ut supra) , has more or less to say about deposited 
carbon, and Fulton in his excellent book on Coke 
also speaks of it. But although all authorities agree 
that such action may and probably does take place 
in a coke oven the amount of carbon thus gained is not 
and cannot be stated with accuracy. As before re- 
marked, a very thin coating of bright silvery carbon 
may serve to better the appearance of the coke \vithout 
adding materially to the weight. 

The 48-hour, 72-hour and 96-hour cokes from this in- 
vestigation were examined for specific gravity, cell 
space and strength. The results were as follows : 

TABLE XI. 

SPECIFK; (iRAVITV, CELL SPACE AND STRENGTH OF COKES. 











Volume 


Compressive 








Per cent. 


of cells 


strain = J^ 




Appar. 


True 


of cells 


in 100 


ultimate 


• 


specific 


specific 


by 


parts by 


strength 




^nivity. 


gravity. 


volume. 


weight. 


1 in. cube. 


48-hour . . 


...1.029 


1913 


46 58 


46.29 


440 lbs. 


72-hoiir . . 


...0.875 


1.785 


52.22 


61.45 


550 *' 


96-hour . . 


...0.921 


1.839 


48 84 


54.30 


660 ** 



It may be remarked in regard to the porosity of coke, 
as determined by the percentage of cells by volume and 
the volume ol* cells in 100 parts by weight, that single 
estimations are rarely of any value. During the last 
few years I have made many such estimations, and the 
variations in samples from the same oven are often 
verv considerable, confirming Dr. Dewey's observa- 
tions. One would naturally expect variations between 
the dense, well-bodied coke and the black ends, whether 



FUELS. 105 

from top to 'bottom, but the variations I refer to are 
'to be found in even the best coke from the same 
ovens. The results given in Table XI are aver- 
ages from two samples taken from the best-looking 
•coke. 

In determining the apparent and the true specific 
gravity, the percentage of cells by volume, and the 
volume of cells by 100 parts by weight, I have used 
the method first suggested by Dr. S terry Hunt (*^ Can- 
ada Geological Survey, 1863, 1866,'' pp. 281-283), 
and afterward improved by Dr. F. P. Dewey. (" Trans- 
actions. American Institute Mining Engineers, Vol. 
XII, p. 111). But not having a good air pump, I 
boiled the samples for 12 hours and allowed them to 
stand in the water for 12 hours more. . The formu- 
las used are as follows : a = weight of dry coke ; 
b = weight of water absorbed ; c = loss of weight 
in water of the saturated coke. Then: c: a = 100: 
X = Apparent specific gravity, c — b : a= 100 :x = True 
specific gravity, c :b =100 :x = Per cent, of cells by 

volume a :b=^100 :x = Volume of cells in 100 parts by 
weight. 

The determination of the ultimate strength, which, 

divided by four, gave the compressive strain, was made 
in a Riehle Standard Testing Machine on 1-in. cubes. 
The cubes were carefully sawed from the coke, and 
were cut so as not to include any cracks. An 8-in. 
liack-saw with " Star " blades does very well, although 
the destruction of the blades proceeds with distressing 
rapidity. A diamond saw, such as is used for prepar- 
ing sections of minerals for microscopic examination, 
would doubtless be an excellent tool for this work. I 
have used as many as six and eight "Star '' blades in 
sawing out a single cube. Coke is very destructive t 
steel saws even the very best soon becoming utterly use- 



106 GBOLOGICAL SURVBY OF ALABAMA. 

less, as might be expected from the nature of the mate- 
rial. Objection has been raised to this method of pre- 
paring coke samples for crushing, and Dr. Thoerner 
recommends cylindrical test pieces. But I have ob- 
tained closely concordant results by careful sawing out 
of 1-inch cubes, and the advantage is that the ultimate 
strength is given directly from the beam, the compres- 
sive strain being taken as one-quarter of the ultimate 
strength. 

Dr. Dewey recommends taking as many as 15 sepa- 
rate samples from each oven, for determining specific 
gravity, etc., and in view of the wide variations in coke 
from the same oven, perhaps this number is not too 
large. 

Speaking generally, Alabama cokes fall into two main 
divisions, so far as concerns the porosity, large-celled 
and small-celled, and the duration of the coking process 
does not seem to affect the principle of the classification 
seriously. With the exception of a few Thomas ovens 
in operation, all of the coke now made in the ^tate is 
the product of bee-hive ovens. The Solvay Process Com- 
pany, of Syracuse, N. Y., is building 120 by-product 
ovens at Ensley. The coal to be used will be similar to* 
the coal of these experiments. 

As a rule, 48-hour coke is used by the blast furnaces,, 
the 72-hour coke going for foundry purposes. The- 
chief difference between them is in the superior density 
and strength of the 72-hour product. There is also les^ 
breeze from the ovens. 

Referring now to Tables IX and X : If all the so-called 
volatile matter should escape without depositing any of 
its carbon, and none of the so-called fixed carbon should be^ 
burned, .but be changed to coke, one might expect to find 
in the coke itself 90.04 per cent, of carbon. Excluding 
the volatile matter of the 48-hour coke, 1.51 percent, the 



/ FUELS. 107 

actual amount of fixed carbon found in the coke was 90 26 
per cent. It would thus appear that the carbon burned 
in the oven is counterbalanced by the carbon deposited 
from hydrocarbons. But the difficulty of ascertaining, 
by analysis of the escaping gases, just what amount of 
carbon is burned is so complicated that there is but 
little hope of arriving at even approxima*ie accuracy. 
For instance, what are the products of the combustion 
of carbon, under the conditions maintaining in a bee- 
hive oven ?* The entire consumption of the carbon 
would, of course, imply the free entrance of air, but the 
air is to a great extent excluded. Ebelmen found on 
collecting gas at three different times from cylindrical 
ovens, not recovering the by-products, the following, the 
figures being from Groves & Thorps ** Chemical Tech- 
nology," Volume I, " Fuels," by Mill & Rowan. 

TABLE XII. 

COMPOSITION OF COKE OVEN GAS ELBELMEN. 

After After After 

2 hours. 7,'/^ hours. 14 hours. Mean- 

<. Carbonic acid 10.13 9.60 13 06 10 93 

Carburetted hydrogen 1.44 1.66 40 1 17 

Hydrogen 6.28 3.67 110 3 68 

Oarbonic oxide 4 17 3.91 2.19 3.42 

l^itrogen 77.98 8116 83 25 80.80 

The composition of these gases varies widely, accord- 
ing to the period of coking, and there are doubtless 
other circumstances, apart also from the composition 
of the coal itself, which would cause variations — the 
rapidity of the firing, the thickness of the bed of coal and 
coke, the size of the coal charged, the quantity of air 
entering the oven, etc., etc. 



108 GBLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

Furthermore, changes are continual going on in the 
oven from the time the coal gets hot and begins to evolve 
gases until the coke is watered and drawn, and these 
changes are not necessarily the same in kind or in degree 
throughout the coking mass. At one point decomposa- 
ble gases are being evolved, at another they are deposit- 
ing carbon, at a third non-decomposable gases — non-de- 
positing gases — are coming off, at a fourth gases are 
being evolved that under proper conditions would de- 
posit carbon, but which, in fact, are escaping into the 
air. It has been said above that the deoosited carbon 
counterbalanced the carbon that was burned in the oven. 
This presupposes that the fixed carbon of the coal is of 
the same nature as the fixed carbon of the coke ; a sup- 
position not always tenable. When the volatile matter 
is driven off from coal in a platinum crucible at the 
highest temperature of a blast lamp, it is certainly pos- 
sible that some carbon is deposited in the mass of the 
coke thus formed. A closed platinum crucible within 
another closed crucible is a miniature coke oven, and if 
carbon is deposited in the large oven it should, also, 
other things being equal, be deposited in the very small 
one. Under the microscope carbon left in the crucible 
does exhibit evidences of the existence of deposited car- 
bon, for the fine globules of bright silvery luster with 
the reticulated markings, so characteristic of deposited 
carbon, are sometimes observable under a i-inch object- 
ive, and now and then, but more rarely, under a i inch 
objective. 

But the conditions favorable to the deposition of car- 
bon are more abundant and more pronounced in a coke 
oven than in a crucible, so that it is likely that the coke 
from an oven has relatively much more deposited (and 
therefore very pure) carbon than the residue in a cruci- 
ble after driving off the volatile matter. Taking every- 



iJ'UBLS. 109 

thing into consideration, it would appear that the fixed 
carbon, as determined in the ordinary method of analy- 
sis, is not of the same nature as the fixed carbon of the 
coke. But, practically, the diflFerence is not of any mo- 
ment and the subject' has merely a scientific interest. 

Deposited carbon, in pieces of considerable size, is 
sometimes obtained from the arch of recovery (by pro- 
duct) ovens. 

Under this discussion it might be of interest to con- 
struct a table from Table X, which would show the 
changes in ultimate composition between the coal and 
the coke, as Table IX does for the ingredients determined 
by proximate analysis. 

Table XIII.— Changes in Ultimate Composition from Coal to Coke. 

•m %-t \-» ^-^ ^^ 

00^00,0 

?. * SP- s^ S2 gS? So S- 



S I* & .^ -S |§ S|» SS g-^ 5 

^^^^^^^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

Coal 78.23 4.51 8.98 1.56 6.72 ' 

Coke 84.55 1.33 4.33 0.18 9 61 8.07 70.51 51.78 88.46 43.00 



Coke is very far from being pure carbon and ash- 
forming iDgredients, as it is sometimes taken to be. 
Aside from the ash in this analysis there are present 
hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, the sulphur not being 
considered. Of these there may be nearly 6 per cent. 

Parry made some determinations of the nature of the 
gases occluded in coke, and found that both carbonic 
acid and methane, were present, and he remarked 
that the carbonic acid probably arose from the oxidation 
of the carbon after tlie coke was made, and that an ap- 
preciable loss of carbon might result in this way. But 
this is si subject of which little is known. It presents 



110 GPLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

many interesting questions to the metallurgical chemist, 
and is deserving of further investigation. 

No investigations were made on these cokes as to the 
action of carbonic acid, as recommended by Sir I. Low- 
thian Bell, or of hydrogen, as i^ecommended by Dr. 
Thoerner. In the employment of each of these reagents 
considerable loss takes place, and it has been proposed 
to use this loss as one of the elements entering into the 
valuation of coke for blast furnaces. There are many 
questions arising in connection with coke, and to exam- 
ine into all of them would take much more time than is 
at the disposal of most metallurgical chemists. 

The following results were obtained too late for incor- 
poration in the body of this article. They relate to the 
yield of coke, over a H-inchfork, and 'ashes' (breeze and 
ashes) from Pratt coal in a bee-hive oven. The moist- 
ure in the coal was not given, but would be about 6%. 

Washed Pratt slack: charged coal 12,650 lbs; ob- 
tained 72-hr. coke 7,080 lbs («55.96%) , and 'ashes' 
348 lbs. (=2.75%). 

Washed Pratt slack: charged coal 13,150 lbs.; ob- 
tained 72-hr. coke 7,725 lbs. (=58.74%), and 'ashes' 
346 lbs. (—2.63%). 

Disintegrated washed Pratt slack ; charged coal 11,000 
lbs; obtained 72-hr. coke 6,715 lbs. (=61.04%), and 
'ashes' 271 lbs. (=2.46%). 

Disintegrated washed Pratt slack : charged coal 11,300 
lbs.; obtained 72.hr. coke 7,275 lbs. (=64.38%), and 
'ashes' 230 lbs. (—2.04%). 

In these experiments the disintegration of the coal 
was followed by a considerable increase in the yield of 
coke, and the waste in ashes fell ofiF, in one case, from 
2.63% to 2.04%. 

The quality of the coke made from the disintegrated 
coal was in no wise inferior to that made from ordinary 



FUELS. Ill 

washed slack, and in fact the coke was stronger and 
•denser than under ordinary circumstances. 

Disintegration of coal, previous to coking, is not car- 
ried on to much extent in Alabama. 



ALABAMA COAL 

IN 

BY-PRODUCT OVENS, 

BY 

\A/ILL.IAM B. PHIL.L.IPS 



8 



ALABAMA COALS IN BY-PRODUCT OVENS. 



li^ 



*. \ 



ALABAMA COAL IN BY-PRODUCT OVENS.' 
EXTRACT FROM A REPORT MADE TO THE SLOSS 

IRON AND STEEL CO- 

(American Manufacturer, Vol. LXII, p 446.) 

By 

WiLLiAM B. Phillips. 

It is proposed to give ia this paper an account of the 
sting of 54,000 pounds of Alabama coal at the Otto^ 
offman by-product oven^ of the Pittsburg (^as and 
oke Co., near Glassport, Penn., undertaken with the 
5ew of ascertaining to what extent this coal would lend. 
^t::self to the recovery of by-products, and the production 
'ti a by-product oven of coke suitable for use. in the blast 
f'lirnace. 

The works at Glassport have been in successful opera- 
'%)ion for more than a year under the superintendence of 
Dr. F. Schniewind, who introduced the system into this 
country. They consist of 120 ovens, in (our batteries of 
30 ovens each. The capacity of each oven, when fully 
charged, is about 7.5 tons of coal. The works are well 
provided with condensing chambers, ammonia apparat- 
us, exhaust pumps, etc. The testing of this coal did 
not in any wise interfere with the usual operations there, 
except in so far as it was necessary to weigh and meas- 
ure the products obtained. The conditions of the test 
did not vary materially from those under which large 
and regular operations are cr.rried on every day. The 



116 QMLOatdAt gtJ^yST OF ALABAMA. 

results, therefore, do not represent what might be ob- 
tained from a special test under special conditions, but 
it is believed that they can safely be used as the basis oC" 
calculations as to future work. 

The coaVused was slack from the mines of the Slbsfr- 
Iron and Steel Co., JeflFerson County, Ala., washed in fiu 
Robinson-Ramsay washer. It came from the Pratt seam, 
and was of the usual quality of this coal, when washed,, 
as the following average analysis will show : 

Proximate analysis of Pratt washed slack coal. Drs^ 
Mason and Luthy, Pittsburg Gas and Coke Co. 

Moisture. 5.95 

Volatile matter 32.69 

Fixed carbon 54.33 

Ash 7.03 



• 



100.00 

Sulphur 0.94 

Phosphorus 0.0117 

The ultimate analysis of this coal, as made in the 
Phillips Testing laboratory, Birmingham, is as follows : 

Ultimate analysis of washed Pratt slack coal, made by 
the Phillips Testing Laboratory, Birmingham. 

Analysis on dry basis : 

Carbon 76.50' 

Hydrogen .4.90 

Oxygen ,. . . . io.l5 

Nitrogen 1 25 

Ash 7.20 



100.00 



This amount of nitrogen is equivalent to 1.15 per cent, 
of ammonia, and the disposable hydrogen would be 3.61 
per cent. The coal, as charged, contained, on the aver- 
age, 5.95 i)9r cent, of moisture,* hut for convenience it 



XLABAlifA COALS ill ftY-P»01>tJCt OTENS. 117 

mil be best to consider it as dry and to base all the re- 
sults and calculations on dry coal. Four separate 
charges were tried in an oven fitted up for the purpose 
and used in testing various coals that have been sent to 
•the works. A very careful watch was maintained over 
the entire operation and especial thanks are due, not 
only to Dr. Schniewind, and to Mr. W. P. Parsons, 
Assistent Superintendent, but also to the gentlemen 
■comprising the laboratory force, and to Messrs. Thos. G. 
Xiittlehales and Wm. Speakman for the very kind and 
Unremitting attention given to the test throughout its 
entire duration. 

The first charge contained 13,067 pounds of d?'y coal,' 
.^.nd the coking time was 34 hours and 35 minutes. The 
fDoke was pushed in 1 minute after taking down the 
<doors and was watered on the outside. Whan ready to 
ioad the coke contained 1.80 percent of moisture. The 
^ield of dry coke, over a li inch fork, was 8,490 pounds 
-«r 64.9 per cent, of the weight of dry coal The dry 
'treeze weighed 320 pounds, or 2.45 per cent of the dry 
-<5oal, so that the total weight of coke obtained was 8,810 
pounds, Qr 67.3 per cent, of the weight of the dry 
-coal. 

The yield of sulphate of ammonia was 19.2 pounds, 

per ton of dry coal. It was decided not to weigh the 

tar from each separate charge, but to wiit until the 

:test was completed. The highest candle power observed 

-during the first test was 18.8, and the average was 13.2. 

The average specific gravity of the gas was 0.471. Ttie 

highest calories were 6649, equivalent to 748.0 British 

'Thermal Units, which will be referred to hereafter in this 

paper as B. T. U. The average heat units during the 

first tests were 651.8, or 5794 cals. 

The second charge of coal represented 13,509 pounds 
•of dry coal. The coking time was 29 hours and 30 



118 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

minutes. The yield of dry, forked coke 9,275 pounds, 
or 68.6 per cent, and of breeze 582 pounds, or 4.3 per 
cent., a total yield of coke of 9,857 pounds, or 72.9 per 
cent. The yield of sulphate of ammonia was equiva- 
lent to 23.9 pounds per ton of dry coal. The highest 
candle power observed was 16.3, the average being 11.1. 
The highest calories were 6617, equivalent to 744.4 
B. T. U., the average being 5352 cals., or 602.1 
B. T.U. 

The specific gravity of the gas was 0.411. The 
amount of moisture in the coke, when ready to load^ 
was 3 per cent. 

The third charofe represented 13,882 pounds of dry 
coal,. and the coking time was 30 hours and 5 minutes. 
The yield of dry, f orke 1 coke wis 9,02) p)aads, or 65.4 
per cent., and of breeze 600 pounds, or 4.3 percent., a 
total yield of coke of 69.7 per cent. When ready to 
load the coke contained 3.0 per cent, of moisture. The 
highest candle power observed was 17.8, the average be- 
ing 11. The specific gravity of the gas was, on the av- 
eraga, 0.454. The highest calories were 6330, equiva- 
lent to 782.1 B. T. U., the average being 5429 cals., or 
613.1 B. T. U. The yield of sulphate of ammonia was 
26.9 pounds per ton of dry coal. 

The fourth charge represented 14,171 p3unds of dry 
coal, and the coking time was 32 hours and 20 minutes-. 
The yield of dry, forked coke was 9.608 pounds, or 67 8 
per cent., and of breeze 708 pounds, or 5.0 per cent , a 
total yield of coke of 72.8 per cent. When ready to load 
the coke contained 4.30 per cent, of moisture. The 
highest candle power observed was 12.6, the average 
being 10.3. The average specific gravity of the gas was 
0.426. The highest calories were 6576, equivalent to 
739.6 B. T. U., the average being 5765 cals., or 648.& 



ALDBAMA COALS IN BY-PRODUCT OVENS. 119 

^. T. U. The yield of sulphate of ammonia was 25.5 
pounds per ton of dry coal. 

The average amount of moisture in the coke, when 
ready to load, was 3.02 per cent. The average yield of 
dry, forked coke from dry coal was 66.7 per cent., and • 
of breeze 4.0 per cent., a total yield of 70.7 per cent. 
The average yield of sulphate of ammonia was 23.9 
pounds per ton of dry coal. The yield of tar was 90 
pounds per ton of dry coal. The average quality of 
the tar from the seal-pot may be stated as follows : 

Moisture 3.93 

Oil 1.52 

Specific gravity 1.211 

The average quality of the tar from the exhauster was 
^^s follows : 

IMoisture ^ 2.04 

Oil '. 2.04 

^Specific gravity 1.211 

The average analysis of the coke (Drs. Mason and 
IXiuthy) was as follows, on a dry basis : 

Volatile matter 0.98 

Tixed carbon , 90.22 

Ash 8.80 

100.00 
Sulphur 1.28 

I will not, at this time, enter upon the subject of the 
adaptibility of this coke for blast furnaces . There is no in- 
formation to hand respecting its use in the Alabama fur- 
naces, but experiences elsewhere has shown that per unit 



120 GBOLOGIOAL SUBVSY OF ALABAMA. 

of carbon it has nothing to fear from the competition o 
bee-hiye coke, especially when to the making of coke ii 
added the saving of by-products. If it were merely 
question of coke making, without reference to by-pro- 
ducts, perhaps there is no system any better than th© 
bee- hive. In structure, the bee-hive coke has the adv-an- 
tage over by-product coke in that it is more uniform, but 
in carbon duty there is not much if any thing to choose 
between them. By-product coke is apt to contain more 
moisture and to be somewhat more brittle than bee-hive 
coke, but under conditions allowing of the utiliza- 
tion of the gas, tar and ammonia, the loss in quality of 
the coke is more than counterbalanced by the profits 
accruing from the sale of these substances. 

The average yield of this coal in the bee hive oven is 
iomewhat below 60 per cent, counting breeze as coke, so 
that in this respect the by-product oven has an advant- 
age of 10 per cent to 12 per cent, greater yield. It is 
doubtful if the diffference will amount to 15 per cent, or 
16 percent, as some would claim. If we accept the 
statement of Sir Lowthian Bell that bee-hive coke is 10 
percent, more useful in the furnace than by-product coke, 
or that Mr. John Fulton that it is 7 per cent, more use- 
ful, we should be prepared to anticipate a balancing of 
carbon duty against greater yield, one oflF-setting the 
other. But so much depends upon the class and condi- 
tion of the stock, and the actual furnace practice that 
generalization is hazardous. 

The gas from this coal is well adapted for illumina- 
ting purposes, but would have to be enriched in some 
carburetting apparatus to bring it up to the require- 
ments ordinarily made in regard to candle power. Du- 
ring the first 24 hours of the process the candle power 
did not fall below 8, and went as high as 18.8. The 
average candle power during the first period of 12 hours 



ALABAMA COAL IN BY-PRODUCT OVBNS . 121 

was 13.1, and during the second period of 12 hours it 
was 10.8. By operating a sufficient number of ovens in 
series, so as to keep the candle power at about the same 
figure, it would doubtless be possible to reach 15 or 16, 
leaving from (J to 7 candle powers to be added by the ^ 
carburizer. 

The gas is well adapted for fuel purposes, the heat 
xinits ranging from 141,379,700, per 1,000 cubic feet, in 
the second period of 12 hours to 165,178,770 in the first 
period. These figures are less than for natural gas, as 
-this may go to 209,97?5000 heat units, per 1000 cubic 
ieetj. The yield of gas was 9,600 cubic feet per ton of 
<ii-y coal, of which 3,000 cubic feet would be surplus gas. 

At the meeting of the Alabama Industrial and Sci^^n- 
-tific Society, held in Birmingham, December 21st, 1897, 
Mr. W. H Blauvelt, Engineer for the Solvay Process 
Company, Syracuse, N. Y. , read a paper on The Seraet- 
Solvay Coke Oven and Ids Products, Mr. Blauvelt had 
previously discussed the subject in The Mineral Indus- 
try, Vol. IV., 1896. He has recently republished the 
important parts of these two articles in pamphlet form. 
Considering that the Solvay Process Company is now 
erecting 120 of the Semet-Solvay ovens at Ensley, Ala., 
and 'will soon have iliem in operation, and that Mr. 
Blauvelt is thoroughly versed in the construction and 
•conduct of this oven, it does not seem to be out of place 
to introduce here his latest remarks upon the subject. 
Aside from the utilization of the hot air from some bee- 
hive ovens for raising steam under boilers usually fired 
with coal, the only product Irom the .coke ovens in this 
State has been the coke. But besides the coke there are 
other valuable products to be obtained from coal as it is 
being changed into coke, as, for instance, ammoniacal 
compounds, tar, and gas suitable for heating and illumi- 
nating purposes. These can be and in many places are 



122 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

now recovered from the coal without prejudice to the 
coke. Their recovery and subsequent utilization marks 
one of the great and beneficent departures from the 
former way of making coke. The system is peculiarly 
adapted to Alabama coals, as they are rich in tar, am- 
moniacal compounds, and gas, all of which can here- 
covered and used. From' the tar may be made pitch and 
ordinary light and *'dead" oils, and a great number of 
products now recognized as coal-tar products, number- 
less dyes and flavoring extracts and medicines. From 
the aiumoniacal compounds sulphate of ammonia is- 
made , a very valuable material used in the manufact- 
ure of fertilizers, anhydrous ammonia now so largely 
used ill the South in ice-making establishments, and 
other substances more or less largely employed in the 
arts. The surplus gas may be used for all kinds of heat- 
ing purposes, for cooking, and heating residences ; and, 
by enrichment, for lighting purposes. Instead, there- 
fore, of throwing away these by-products they will be 
utilized, and the plant at Ensley — the first of the kind 
in the South — will enter upon this work within the- 
present year. 

Mr. Blauvelt's pamphlet — which is here republished?, 
by permission — is as follows : 



ALABAMA COAL IN BY-PRODUCT CVENS. 1^3 

THE SEMET-SOLVAY COKE OVEN AND ITS 

PRODUCTS.* 
By William H. Blauvblt, 

[Extract from proceedings of the winter meeting of the Alabama In- 
dustrial and Scientific Society, held in Birmingham, Ala., De- 
cember 21, 1897.] 

Gentlemen of the Alabama Industrial and Scientific Society: 

The plant of by-product retort ovens, which is being 
erected at Ensley, is only the sixth installation of by- 
product ovens in this country. In Continental Europe 
such ovens have become quite an old story, and, in fact, 
practically no bee-hives are built there, except in small 
or isolated plants. So few years have passed since, by- 
product ovens were first introduced in America, that 
they are still a novelty to very many, even of those who 
are well acquainted with the use of coke and its manu- 
facture in the old fashioned way. It has, therefore, 
been suggested that a brief description of the plant at 
Ensley, and a comparison of these new ovens and their 
products with the old bee-hive type, will be of interest 
to your Society. 

The plant of oven? now under construction at Ensley 
will consist of 120 retort ovens, with their accompany- 
ing apparatus for collecting the by-products from the 
distillation of the coal. It- is probably unnecessary to 
say that retort ovens are essentially different in shape 
from the bee-hive oven, the coking chamber being usually 
about 30 feet long and 6 feet high, and varying in width 
from 15 inches to 30 inches or more, depending upon the 
coal to be coked, and the type of oven. The coal is 

♦Portions of this paper are taken from an article by the writer, 
which was published in **The Mineral Industry,'' Vol. IV., 1896, which 
is a copyrighted work, and such extracts are here used by the special 
permission of the Scientific Publishing Company, the proprietors of 
"The Mineral Industry." 



124 GfiOLOOIGAL SUBYSY OF ALABAMA. 

charged through three or more holes in the top, in the 
same manner as in a bee-hive oven, except that the oven 
is filled with coal to within about eight inches of the 
top. The coal is heated and the volatile matter driven 
off by means of the heat generated by the combustion of 
gas in the flues or passages in the side walls of the 
ovens. A fourth opening in the roof of the oven is 
connected with a pipe or main, which carries the gas, as 
it comes off from the coal, to the by-product apparatus. 

The Ensley ovens are of the Semet-Solvay design. 
This oven is the principal exponent of what is known 
as the horizontal flue type, in contradistinction to the 
vertical flue type, the principal representative of which 
is the Otto-Hoffman oven. In the vertical flue type the 
gas is burned in two horizontal flues, or combustion 
chambers, at each side of the ovens at the bottom, which 
extend half way toward the other end. Th'e products of 
combustion ascend through some sixteen small vertical 
flues, which reach to the top of the oven, wiiere they 
deliver into another horizontal flue, which reaches the 
whole length. This connects with a similar set of small 
flues, which deliver the hot gases into a horizontal flue, 
or combustion chamber at the bottom, like the first, and 
thence to a regenerator of the familiar Siemens type. 
Every hour the travel of the gases is reversed, hot air 
being supplied for the combustion of the gas from the 
regenerators, as in an ordinary Siemens furnace. 

In the horizontal flue ovens there are three horizontal 
flues, one above another, on each side of each oven, ex- * 
tending the full length of the oven, and connected with 
each other at the ends, so as to form a continuous flue 
for the gas and flame. The travel of the gases is from 
above downward; that is, through the top flue, then 
backward through the second, etc., the bottom flues 
being connected with a passage to the chimney. A 



ALABAMA COAL IN B7-PB0DUCT 0VBN8. 1*25 

imal) amount of gas is introduced at the . ends of the 
k>p and second flue, along with a sufficient amount of 
air for its combustion. This air is preheated by a simple 
arrangement in the bottom of the ovens , and the com-^ 
bustion goes forward continuously without any attention, 
often for weeks at a time, it being only necessary to see 
that the proportions of gas and air remain the same, 
and are of sufficient quantity to keep up the necessary^ 
heat in the ovens. The gases after leaving the ovens 
are carried under boilers, and supply steam for operating 
the machinery of the plant. These gases go to the stack 
at a temperature of not much over 200® C, so that from 
the point of view of heat economics these ovens are very 
efficient. 

The Semet-Solvay ovens are usually about 16 inches 
wide, and contain about 4i tons of coal per charge. 
This charge is coked in about twenty-four hours, and 
when the gases are all driven off, the doors at each end 
of the ovens are opened, and the whole charge of coke 
is pushed out with a steam pusher, or ram, in a minute 
or two. As soon as the ram has been withdrawn and 
the doors are closed, the oven is ready for another charge, 
and practically no heat has been lost, as the quenching 
is all done on the outside of the oven. The whole pro- 
cess of discharging and recharging an oven can readily 
be completed in fifteen minutes. 

As the gas which is distilled from the coal leaves the 
ovens it enters a largo flue known as the hydraulic main. 
This extends the whole length of the block of ovens, and 
is partially filled with water. The gas bubbles through 
the water, and a portion of the tar and ammonia is con- 
densed out. From the main the gas passes to the con- 
densers. These are large vertical cylinders filled with 
tubes through which water is made to circulate. The 
gas passing around these tubes is cooled, and a further 



126 GELOOICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

portion of the tar and ammonia condenses. Rotary ex- 
hausiers occupy the next place in the denes of apparatus,' 
their use being to draw the gas from the ovens through 
the pipes and condensers, and to discharge it into the 
next following apparatus, which is the ammonia washer. 
In this vessel the final traces of ammonia are removed, 
and the gas thus cooled and washed is free from con- 
densable matter and ready to be used for heating or 
lighting. A portion 6i it is usually withdrawn at this 
point and used to heat the flues of the ovens, but if 
there is sufficient demand for the oven gas for other pur- 
poses, ordinary producer gas may be substituted for it, 
and the whole amount produced will be available for 
sale. This amount varies with the coal, but is usually 
from eight to ten thousand cubic feet per ton of two 
thousand pounds. The quality of this gas is more fully 
described later, where the by-products of the ovens are 
discussed somewhat at length. 

THE PRODUCTS OF THE BY-PRODUCT OVEN. 

Coke. — An investigation of the subject will immedi- 
ately show that the essential distinction between the 
operation of the ratort oven and that of the ordinary 
beehive is that in the former the coal is coked without 
the admission of air, by heat applied from the outside, 
while in the latter the air is admitted to the oven and 
the combustion takes place immediately over the body 
of coal. The result is that in one case the hydro-car- 
bons are simply distilled off, with a certain breaking 
down and deposition of carbon on the coke, so that 
a yield of coke greater than the so-called ''theoretical" 
can be counted on, whilu in the other case the most of 
the hydrocarbons are burned in the ovens, some carbon 
is deposited, and some of the fixed carbon of the coal is 
burned, resulting in a yield of coke less than the theo- 



ALABAMA COAL IN BY-PRODUCT OVENS. 127 

^etical. As an illustration of the difference in yield 
Resulting from this difference in method of coking, a 
good yield of coke from Connellsville coal in a beehive 
oven is 65 per cent., while in a good retort oven it 
is easy to get 75 per cent., an increase of about 10 
per cent. Of course this increase reduces proportion- 
ately the percentage of ash, phosphorus, etc., remain- 
ing in the coke, so that the retort oven yields more coke 
and a purer coke than the beehive from the same coal. 
This increase in yield varies with the proportion of fixed 
carbon, ash, etc., in the coal. 

"The quality of the coke made in the by-product ovens 
las long been a subject of discussion, especially among 
the blast furnace men of Europe. The English authori- 
ty, Sir Lowthian Bell, made a series of careful tests a 
ti limber of years ago and pronounced against the coke 
in comparison with that made in beehive ovens, and his 
^Conclusions were accepted by English ironmasters. But 
improved construction and practice have combined to 
^produce a better coke, and it is reported that Sir Low- 
thian Bell has modified his views to such an extent that 
a plant of retort ovens is now being built at his own 
works — those of Messrs. Bell Brothers. On the Conti- 
nent retort oven coke is now the standard, and in this 
country we are just beginning to realize that a coke not 
made in the old beehive oven and not having the famous 
silvery gloss of coke quenched in the oven is proving 
itself quite equal to it in fuel value. 

The essential difference between beehive and retort 
oven coke lies in its hardness and shape, caused by the 
different application of the heat in the oven. In the 
beehive the coal is spread out in a layer 23 or 24 inches 
thick over a surface some twelve feet in diameter. The 
bottom of the oven having been cooled by the quench- 
ing of the previous charge and by contact with the new 



128 OBOLOQICAL BURYBY OF ALABAMA. 

one. the coking begins at the top and extends down^ 
ward, reaching the bottom in from 32 to 34 hours. The 
coke has ample opportunity to swell and develop a cellu- 
lar structure in accordance with the composition of the 
coaly and entirely independent of any attempts at con- 
trol. The typical form of beehive coke is therefore long 
finger-like pieces, widening toward the bottom of the 
oven and with an inch or two of spongy coke at each 
end. The inability to tontrol the formation of the cells 
makes it essential that just the right coals are used, or 
the requisite hard body, resistant alike to pressure and 
the action of hot carbonic acid in the blast furnace, can- 
not be obtained. The fact that the coal from the Con- 
nellsville district gives just the requisite structure when 
coked in the beehive oven is the reason for its present 
pre-eminent position as a blast furnace fuel in America. 

In the retort oven the coal lies in a high narrow mass, 
about 5 feet high and from 16 to 20 inches wide. The 
previous charge having been pushed out rapidly by ma- 
chinery and quenched outside, the oven is hot when the 
fresh charge is introduced and the evolution of gases be- 
gins immediately from the coal lying in contact with the 
hot sides. The flow of gases being from the sides, they 
meet in the center and rise to the top, where they es- 
cape, forming a sort of cleavage plane midway between 
the two walls. Thus the pieces of retort coke are stouter 
than the long, slowly developed '*fingers"of the bee- 
hive oven, and are a little shorter than half the width 
of the oven. The end of the piece next the wall is 
denser and the end next the cleavage plane is more 
spongy than the main body. 

The cellular structure is more compressed than bee- 
hive coke, principally on account of the narrow retort 
that permits no expansion in the direction of the flow of 
the gases, and also because the depth of the charge is 



ent somewhat on the proportions of the oya^^piitkimxii 
BfBa^e9?nj4 l^^ttto^iQfrQoWog?! /t9)rf er.rf ,{:.r>/^iViO 
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tljj^fu^Aj'^^Sf ph^pgQ4.,fj*Q«> ajil »i?et^rjt^r45©kG«to ail beehive 
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9 ' * 




130 GSOLOOTCAL SURtTBT 09 ALABAMA. * 

every respect with the Connellsville beehive coke. In- 
deed, experiments already made would seem to point in 
that direction . 

Objection has been made to the retort coke oh the 
ground that it is watered outside the oven, thereby de- 
stroying the carbon glaze found on coke quenched within 
the oven and increasing the percentage of moisture in 
the coke. Careful tests have proved that retort coke is 
somewhat more resistant to the action of hot carbonic 
acid in the top of the furnace than is beehive coke from 
the same coal, which seems to show that the carbon 
glaze has in practice no value. The absence of a glaze 
on retort coke is no indication that carbon is* not de- 
posited from the gases, for in the first place the yield o! 
coke is always higher than the so called ''theoretical" 
yield, and in the second place, as the coke is leaving the 
oven the glaze can plainly be seen, but its brightness is 
destroyed by the water. A long series of tests have 
shown that coke properly quenched outside of the oven 
need not contain over i to f per cent, of moisture, but 
the amount of rnoisture in the coke after its arrival at 
the furnace is altogether another question, and depends 
more on the time it is on the road and on the humidity 
of the atmof»phere than on the method of quenching. 

The effect of mo:Bturo in the upper part of W blast 
furnace is an open question. Experiments bavb heen 
made by leading furnacemen which indicate that its 
cooling action on the ascending gases saves the coke in 
a measure from solution in the hot carbonid acid and 
permits more coke to reach the zone of fusion, with the 
result that the fuel consumption is noticeably^lowered. 
The Oonnellsville beehive coke is, perhaps, the most 
perfect blast furnace fuel in the world, and it is not 
claimed that retort coke made from this coal is a-superior 
fuel to the beehive product. But to the gr^-st bituin 



ALABAMA GOAL IN BY-PRODUCT OVENS. 131 

nous co^l fields of this country, to which the Connells- 
ville district does not bear the relation of one to the 
hundred, tho retort oven comes with a promise of help. 
Many coals that, although pure enough chemically for 
metallurgical use, make a soft coke in the beehive oven, 
when coked in the retort oven give a structure so hard- 
ened and strengthened that the product is an entirely 
acceptable metallurgical fuel. In other cases, when 
tlie impurities are too great for furnace or foundry use, 
or the structure is hopelessly weak, or when the coal is 
dry and lies dead in the beehive without a suggestion of 
coking, a coke can often be mad^ in the retort oven that 
is easily salable for domestic purposes, brewers' and 
m listers' use, and for many other uses where a clean- 
biirning fuel, free from smoke, is desired. The demand 
^or coke for these purposes is growing rapidly, and the 
viipply of this market should be very profitable in a 
:>ropej'ly located and designed plant, from which the gas 
i,nd other by-products would have a ready sale. 

The. ability of the retort oven to coke coals that have 
:iitherto been considered non-coking, brings into promi- 
nence the si'bject of laboratory tests of coals for coking 
purposes and of the coke made.. A chemical analysis of 
the coal or coke, while important, does not fully indi- 
i^ate ltd Value, and physical tests are quite as important. 
The coking qualities of a coal are hardly shown at all 
by an ordinary chemical analysis, and an actual test in 
fche oven is the u^u .1 method for determining this point, 
^laboratory method for making this test has been re- 
toeBtly developed by Louis Campredon in the laboratory 
of the Vignac Works, France. His method is similar 
%C^ihfL% used in ascertaining the binding power of cement. 
*The principle is the mixing of the coal with an inert 
Ixidy anSd carbonizing the mixture in a closed vessel ; the 
greater the binding or coking power of the coal the more 



5ip^ opefa^tioQ of the, jn^thod .j« (i^-rfoUwwB-ciBuUteiifae- 
t^9 cpaL fipeljj, passing it , ij^rou^ nj ^'tim^-ioi fipe-aiiBih .' 

oqup.^;pgirj^ji3.of. pQ^l,-,^8ay of l.^iflv. .sftch) iacfe'airiaDBd' 
with ^^I'ial^lg w^i;g)it3; Q£:83Qd.,i and ithj^fimntbrasiiara 
I^pfv^d ta,a'.,i'j^4:^?^^'^f closed poj'Qe^mfi.>MucibdeB,?aoaa'' 
tp^p^^rbpijuzp,theco^I^ -iAftftifcpQiitliSiiPithftr^dtjiJBcnTdeK 
o^i; ^i^pi;^ or|le89,.Ii^d^,q9lKcd,iaa^ai?.iofeit«iijj3dt;ijAfter a> 
fejf liri^-it^isfasQ'ito.iJpt^ypime >yMti: nlaxJaiHM* inBighnt- 
<ij.s^ifd-^ cft^c^p^Jjiod tpgfi^ber.,-,. i; ^ .>; o ij:ii a ^i .j x!;; y-i 
JJJ^kiqg.,^ih6rweiglJ^,$£«o&l»s unity /-chebiadingip^ffer- 
wil^.i^ giyejjv'by 5be weight o£ £he agglomertUedi^'sBdr 
T|i<e biodiiig power is nil; for a..eoalgtviag AiipbW^d^bd' 
C9ke, Atid it hO'^.b^&a.'found to be- 17'.|'oriher ifi69t>>bind^^ 
ipg.poalyet tmdvbythe e-'spaiimieiitjer^whiJeripiiohl^SOi.*^ 
IJ^gerj^Hie.nL? by this njetlsod slidW' tbirf^'tbert **■ ab'*fel»'t 
tion between ;tlj« prpsimate auatj-sis. awi ;fbi^fefe'dit*f 
ppw.er oi coals, coDfirraingscLualcveiLejipefletii^*.''' ' 
■ --' " ' -W'ttr ihr-pfeonucTsV '""'''■' ','""■■ '"""' 

, ..-.,., ^ _ . .•..-.,.■ ■ ■■ } .;- V- - '>-M !»-:'^-D 

*TKese consist primarily oj atnmoui^, |.af ad;).d.ga)}„aD^ 
iti' addition to the increased Ti,eld; of cfi^e fue^ tli^^ui^o^^, 
of pYofifc from 'the by-pro(luct, qy^q. w^qJj^^^rPe fl^fi^lfcydo^-) ^ 
In^tKe ordinary beehive., -giarae tettirtjpvi^ii^j^ijqli^ittie 
Oeto-Coppee,'for ejampl^.^a^-ft^wj^thflitlJ. ^ 

app^i-atus.'and burn the ^^,,j,o,,ji^at. t|b|^,o,y|^p|fiftj^pHJ(, -^ 
washiiigit. ,Tlies6^recoYer.noVaiflm(ii|q\^^fj5-j ^r^^)y>ipe^ _ 
the exfes? gas for^rftisiQg;.3teainj yvapor;i,tiug abput l-^pf^,^ 
pSoJids water per pound: of coa] cpked. . But. tjia hy.-r— 
prbdacts are so easily ^aved .;i,ud tbi: pr.iptit-9 ;there£rpni,i^c: 
»aake" Such an acceptablf addinon to, the, rigltt ^id^ pfi— ■ 
the 'ledger that they can .hij-rdij be negl^gf^d_j..3 ^,Jj^cf 
cdhsidera'tidn 6i' each one iBay, bji^pt Interpj^^j ^.,^j Kjijoi^ 



AtA»4ft^:^i«L n'Vti^mimirerBss . M 




t0tfclK)i»6 tSfetfe^itfti^^fS^^^irite "'rart^i*^' Isthe 'Co^i^^' 



.( ■ . . . « 



tlieftiliWo|&tfWigikA«j^4tf-th§^'c^i?'^stin t-eMfnr'iH ^^^ 
perature at whi8f^{«ti^c«aJi^'^core4:-- I^erfea^^^^^ itf^ rnj)?? 





o^yifiiii8n'ii'''6iiic(ticted by "itii e*scpeneiiced person, as it is 

^Th^fe'irf(imi^ WBiri tiie ^^6hi 'ia'ddll'edted'id .'theiii^ 
di^iiiaPln^tf^afid c-afiAetfsef"^;' aldiig Vitfe'the iar^W fee' 
cooliTig-^and: stfrapblng 01 tn6 gas. Tne aojmopia occurs 
ifr'tv^''*)rfds^A^lf6nf(iii6'r :'-" 'fiWd '''ah'd-"^'fplaiileY'^^'^ 
tlf^^fittSi^i- <5&tit3ihitf^ f&6 ^iilph'ayisv'<jhr6riafes*, Idjrkiiid^s*^ 
e*i,f wKiW-^he' latter BoiiVains the ^bbnl^esri-ui^'hilies/ 
aoA^} ibldcoMihg ta'sdine; free ammoiiia. ^f he bulk pf tlie^, 
ft!6^«*^ilts 'is cdadensed ffrst and the volatile later/ The' 
aSimbttia li^ubr is qiiitie weak when it is' first drawn 
ffSrii'HhStai^/'UsifWry cdtrtainingfr'odi''| to I'fier'c^nW of 
attindliii,'.' ' ' 'Th!s weak ■ liqthf may be ei thef' 'conv^i-'iSd^^ 
mk^jf fW6''sdIph'at'6'; atid' sola 'as fertili^^l-i'^r'hy'piiriv 
f^itxfl atik i^i!kCeMdi6iiit;maf')a6c6ai^rM^^^ 




ing and other apparatus. 



,!.■ 



} 



tenMfiiFnJ^dS'j'^i'^Sr&^ti^ ^sia^at'syia/^ h^io- 



184 GfiOLOOlCAL 8trBrS¥ of XLAMXUA • 

meter, but this method is deceptive, as the density o f 
the liquor is affected by the condition in which th e 
ammonia occurs. The more accurate method is the dis- 
tillation of the liquor with some caustic lime or soda, 
which drives off all the ammonia, volatile and fixed. 
The distilled ammonia is absorbed in standard acid, 
and the excess of acid is afterward titrated with a 
standard alke^li solution. The yield of ammonia is 
usually reckoned as ammonium sulphate, although it 
may be sold as liquor or sulphate, or in a more con- 
centrated form, according to the market. 

The yield of ammonia from the coals in the vicin- 
ity of Pittsburg is from 16 ta 22 pounds of sulphate 
per ton of coal. 

Tar.— Since the manufacture of illuminating gas by 
the water-gas process has attained prominence the mar* 
ket for tar is very much improved. Very large quaiLtl« 
ties, are used for roofing, paving, i^c, and in Europe 
mu(jh is distilled and separated into pitch and the va- 
rious lighter oils, which are further tr-eated for the 
almost endles number of valuable substances which thev 
contain. In this 'country but little of this is done as 
yet, and the tar is used mainly for the cruder purposes. 
Properly developed, its manufacture into the more valu- 
able products should yield very satisfactory profits. 
Our chemical manufacturers are beginning to realize 
this fact, and plants for the distillation of tar are growing 
in number and in importance. The rapid increase of by- 
product ovens, and the consequent large amount of tar 
which will bo put on the market in the near future makes 
it necessary to find another outlet for it than the cruder 
uses, and it is probable that tar distillation will 
be an important industry in this country before many 
years. 

The main products of the distillation of tar are, light 



oil, creosote or heavy oil, naphthalene, anthracene and 
pitch. , 

The yield and quality of tar from retort ovens depend 
on the coal and also on the temperature at which the 
distillation . takes place. The tar from the leading re- 
tort ovens is /usually of excellent quality and commands 
the best price. The yield of the coals in the vicinity of 
Pittsburg is 'from 70 to 80 pounds per ton of 2,000 
pounds of coal/ Some coals yield as muchas 100 pounds 
or more. 

G<w.— The gas that is obtained from retort ovens 

,3B a by-product, the value of which varies greatly with 

iihe locality in which the ovens are situated. When the 

ovensitreat the coal mine the gas is frequently valuable 

- only for steam raising purposes, and at the usual prices 
r<rf coal at the mines would be worth but a very few cents 
.3)er thousaQd feet. An intermediate condition would be 

"when; the ovens are adjacent to an iron or steel works, 

- where the gas could be used for heating furnaces, soak-^ 
ing pits, etc., whore it would supplant producer gae 
being much more conveniently applied and easily freed 

-from all impurities. The most favorable locations for 
obtaining a good value for oven gas are those adjacent 
to large towns, where there is a demand for illuminat- 
ing or fuel gas. The discovery and use of natural gas 
in the country has caused a great demand for fuel gas, 
especially for domestic purposes,, and many hundreds of 
thousands of dollars have been spent in attempt to sup- 
ply this denjand. But while these experiments have 
been going on the bee-hive coke ovens of Pennsylvania 
alone have been quietly burning to waste nearly 1,000,- 
000,000 feet a week of a very superior quality of fuel 
gas without exciting any special attention. 

Cpkeoyeji gas from properly managed retort oven is 
appiTpximately the same article as that from the retorts 



lar. It usually contains rather less illuniinant9,.4Hnq- 
fkv^^v.,!,lte' q^fta^^J^aft4 jQoqip^aiticrft Flirj5ftwil>b.it|ier{flbaL 
uoed &^4 /the, temperature pf ^isUllajtiOn, ibut in^adeiffam 
gpod g£@ cpalji^ i^ajs^-be: us!<^(jti for iUtitnioa^tJugipuifliioseb 
^'iP^^iM\^S ^pa^3.ed ;tbpugli t^- 03*djiharyf liin9i!bf>atea ito 
l[^uiK>W th©.»ulphurv-e$c». It ftdmtbeiiature of thaiceiil 
t)i^>il'luipinating.gowfe^ .of the^gaa isTlQW, :it'fc^i;ditii^f 
l^ft/eoyipbed by_a|iyiiQ((.'th.i8,/9jreUi kaown inethodeloi^fbiiMii 
ed with incandescent burners or used as a fuel gHa*j!ifor 
tjne laclv-iaf lioxvg>piericQii[t>,*<!rf illuimriiin^ 5|rilltiiW aspfcte- 
Qials^Jy-^fifect; it^ifueVYftJw©;^' :- .'. •• "'' .^r ^ .^*>i:h''i( vd it ««i 

,/Iji{aKrWiging.^q.d;oy^O: plawt)foi? 1;lfta siipp^vCifljfuBkote 
iilumipg^tiiig ga^, it Je* ^eQep»[|ry;' eidiePi<tcrrpraFidB»m/ 
ll^old-^ Q|,'.!irfttbe? Mrgf' (Ji«eusiapsii"br: wiAb "ft- soiajiler 
h^M^^'tQ hav^,notdQS^uti>an; sa-yv JtwflntiyMftyafcj oe Mriarti^' 
ove];i|j..t¥at.^ha}lL b^ dt^awarid^rotskti^n at upprommlteiiyi 
ey^flinteirv^s ; {or ii^:CDintiioii..^^itfb.r othw^JSutoatamcrisF 
cQBt^niiig^h;ydrpoa.rb.on9v '^1^^^ ooaL !& dietiiUeii 4ieilnr 
Q5i;^iior,efe^hQi>Q; thprga$e;s.give«j ofFiire not»^at,aiH:iu(»iu 
f[^^){in^$0Q^pO3itiOiii ;but chiaQg^^^QoiiAtantlyi asllhfiids^tidcf 
lfttioiit|Wr0gy^fisefe,i.-'O^y.-: •-. c- --jIT -'r-»:v-*:ij(pii ILi moil 

j/jlit^; fpll©Hijfeg e^rj^ afiaJyBe«tof rtetptt^-OTteH^^A j^aiarEiwto 
ropei«9t Aitd Americau^Coala-: :? -^^.h :^^ ' >nv"OT 9ux* i oj 

• •' TABLE xiv: ,•• ; . „.,, 

Cfarbonic 'oxiHe .."... ^.S 4.6O 6.5 . 7.»5 . . 7.4^ 

Hyyviken..v;: V. . .V: . /vf; .r sg.to ' -^8.57 ^-si.sv' kTV-^-. ^^idT 

NittJ^feeD;.. •<j.v..':ii;4;.. ::••.■.:. 4. -2.4 f< - 5.74.-. : . Oi»/ -^ 'J'.oi OOO^y.^^0 

Methane ...m-.-*- ; 2f 7 .,.,;^7^e ,, 36(.l;7Agil^«diiW3Wg 

Oleflnes 3.L 2.33 2.2 2.6,7 r ^8 . 



>\,l^:tll.i'^■r. i:iiJ:'y\ 'U h^'^ lud. ,i^.i 

3t4^at<o«HUl tW^iio«itfed^'tHa/r tMs ^^^^^ 
MliAllyftiki*«d^l9 of tiiettrt«6^ W^^^ ^ f^ite tiift^ 

ga»'tJ9ttialli|r^fti;ai*i«frbiflfB60Uo^'590 fc^A«Hltlit*; '^K k^# 

for lighting purposes that the larf*(^'kla*iidt-bP'^*lM%(if^ 
c^aiAedtit^to'btiVrf'wSth a ^my^j^ flrttiiferiflfid^tHfe'^lV^lif'fftfei 
KT' ttwifef^re^pobr, kUhbiigfi • th% pryp\>i-Mdir of yi^feii^^ 
illuminants , is not always as small fe^'iti'Hi^^wi^ijy^^ 
i#Jgi*%DP:Wft)Vg/ -^^ Tt' httS^e^fl=^ta«fed-l>yi^da''^ft^ 

xi««totii^i« ^u^&^^id^ tSheNataibdi^^ #a5r ' ^^i^6dt'l^%Mi4i4l 
^«*Wfr>ofit«§%i4'<b^ thb prt)diri5lij^^«f ■e6tafettSti%ii,^aiifr^th^ 
»i«^&ilaftdfe?'^hislttt«:utfitA^atH& A<i>t''^'^tei^ than tK6'^6 froAi^S^ 
^8 lofoiimilkr: oompDsiti^^ft to ih<e' cdiis ov^ti' gfesel^^'^Vetf* 
abovdjjbwiwgJtoth* lac* that i&U<5h a VeVy ^lai^ge a1tttla*<^ 
ofidir>ii^ McissarV t6'tiurn the m^tbftn&i £tti:d the'adi<6iffi§'3 
of thdalt'«tbsbybed in brtniglrig ^the i*Q^i^t nitrog^tt- tt^ iiSVk¥^ 
tdibf)fi0l0;iifce^ df thei^^otilbiiBtiotJ' chafhbef i^ ' s6^^i^AVt^%- 
itkXXAiAtei^^iSi,me^'^^& duperix^r healing VAlue of ^1^^^^ 
Of course, if the i:h^at carried' iWuj^' in tHb^'^i^dtfOls^^ 
coiftlMlBiAtininp^ria^ retuf Aed' 'to ^th% futndld^i '^by^ii-^ft^Ja- 
tii^^ttolVltJW^Outo^iSdJt b0m41rty4(^'gr^ aoijj.ieiqo /i59 



138 OBJOLOGICAL StJIlVKY 05» ALaBaMA. 

The principle source of luminosity in the gas is benzol 

This substance is separated from the gas in some of th^ 
German by-product works, and is used for the manufac- 
ture of the aniline colors. It is a highly volatile sub- 
stance, somewhat similiar to the uaptha products of 
petroleum distillation, and is very difficult to transport. 
Its removal from the gas renders the latter useless for 
illuminating purposes, but does not materially affect its 
fuel Talue. Benssol is also obtained in the distillation b^ 
tar, but not in large quantities. 

To sum up briefly, then, it will be seen that the coking 
of ooalin the by-product retort oven differs in the re- 
sults obtained in the following particulars from thia 
same operation in the bee-hive : Prom the bee^hive oVen 
we obtain coke. The article is of excellent quality if the 
coal is just adapted to the purpose, but the yield is from 
5 to 20 per cent, lower than the analysis of the coal 
shows should be gotten. 

In addition to the coke there is a great deal of snuoke, 
but those living near the ovens hardly look on this as a 
valuable product. 

From the by-product retort oven, we have coke again, 
and always more than the analysis of the coal indicates. 
It has yet to be proven that any coal which makes good 
bee-hive coke will not make equally good retort oven 
coke. Moreover an excellent metallurgical coke can 
be made from many coals that are worthless for. the 
bee-hive. In fact it is largely for this reason that re- 
tort ovens have been so widely introduced in Oodti- 
nental Europe. In addition to the increased yield of 
coke we have from a ton of coal, from 16 to 22 pounds 
of sulphate of ammoaia, from 70 to 100 pounds of tar, 
and from 3,000 to 10,000 cubic feet of gas. 

The manufacture of coke is about the only metallurgi- 
cal operation that we Americans, proud of our wonder- 



AtA^Al^A COAL 11^ W-PnObVCl! oV«J^9. ISO 

ful progress in all the mechanical arts, still conduct 
after the manner of our ancesters before the Revolution- 
ary war. Let us introduce the by-product retort oven 
into the chain of iron manufactu'e,con(i lent that it will 
not be unworthy to be linked with the miniag and haul- 
age of our coal by electricity, the digging of our ore by 
steam shovels, and our blast furnaces smelting 700 tons 
of iron in a day. 

CHAPTER V. 
Ceke Furnaces, 

The largest furnaces in Alabama are 80 feet high, and 
^9 feet 6 inches wide in the bosh, or widest part. The 
greatest amount of pig iron ever made in a furnace in 
one day in this State was 265 tons,* and for its produc* 
tion there were required 588 tons of ore, 62 tons of 
limestone and 265 tons of coke, all of 2,240 lbs. 
- It is by no moans unusual for a furnace to make 200 
tons of iron a day, and for this there would b^ required 
480 tons of ore, 280 tons of coke, and 25 tons of stone, 
if the proper amount of hard ore were used. • The aver- 
age number of tons of material handled per ton of iron 
made is about 4.44 in coke furnaces, so that for the' 
835,851 tons of coke pig iron made in 1895, there were 
handled 3,711,178 tons of material, of which 2,089,627 
toBS were ore, 442,176 tons were stone (limestone and 
<iolomite) , and 1,179,375 tons were coke. These are 
Approximate figures. The amount of ore required to 
^Tnake a ton of iron varies from 2.10 tons to 2.87 tons, 
the average being close to 2.50. The average amount 



♦This output has been exceeded by about 50 tons since the Intro- 
cluotion of 16 tuyeres. 



carefully determined from the chemical anDKilysm ntltiiV 
customary to fill the furnace and keep filling it by 
''charges," each ''charge^T^beiJagTCfaplposed for the most 
part of ore, coke and stone, l^hus, for instance, a 
''charge" may be compp^,^ 5/600 lbs. of coke 10,080 
pounds of hard ore, 2,749 pounds of soft ore, and 620 
ptotfuapri^f !liaQd^tl?ih^ iixvnM^'Mfmu^¥^yth ^tPio 

9ftt?hargQ8 per ddy^nad' 9boata:yl^Mt200 Y6n§^^f6h?^'Mei 
prbpoBtkna. Ibetweeit (the: vaM^cs -i^liaffleifts' 6P'if^ WlSf^gg 
arsri^eHtas ithe^jliotaiirvfeigbff oE-ihe 'diii^g^, aftlSd ^thSLikiM^ 

unless theiie'^'l *irfeen:t'. fleoe3sity*'4;h^ '"dyi4liy^fttl«e^ft%i'^Mi^^ 
shOSaWiibe very .siighti : Having 'ion««^'»e$<)aW4sttfed^ ike 
pi)oper[.biardfeili^i<ii8 frob^adTfeatflfeiwii^clxM^g^ ftft^V'nd^^ifrlt^ 
n.eoasBar!jr'lKjidD (^hirfiUh«i^ma*fertai^ Biiti b^op]K^^ft8tea(i# 
suxfl&caemtTquainitaty iknd A(^ith:isdLfflcl)^<f>!^i^Mai^,'>^(l^ 
umf6f!mit!yDo£ cptnibbsitibb'.r >Batichafig^6 ^ W^Ol^&^il^ 
verfy freliuBntlycmadep*o'«*equie!itlyiiA^'ficti^*hM «fe*feft^ 
cessiby •foaf'thettf fcon8ti«<ute8 ttoe gi^nte^- obfetrablfe ^ilP^dW^ 
pliah. (6tfr)sJncces8fMl liuintuje rmanagem^riUid ^ ihfeijSMd^ 
It>i8ithe'lion<'in tho">)^pay,' tiiieboitoeVllaHi' tbhatJ.*^ '-^ifivt^ftpt 
pwmng-f'rfKiace^^ipractio^dn- f Alabami* '^iHiif'Wnralc^^^l^-b 
tiee in-t PpnusylvahiaV ^fOP'-inslislhce;' 6tttai'is ^itfitiifd»rt«a^i 
ajbH/tia© biitseC with 'th^' fi^(juettt-^nd»'ia''mfttiffy^5(ia46§i 

violMrtnchnaigefi/ iantlke biirdeu' in^tfe^ • flrdti 'fflftfeey^iW^J 
in_tbe, . sfiooDid.. with Jthe flange -tonnage^handlpH per 
tojp^iOf-irouw' T:lii9/.:toaji;age liS) BefeiTr^bl6,iitOj.ibhecirttW 
materials going into the furnace, and' 'tSHfi^ ^'fcflSteF^ 



of affairs will remain as it is now unSfcf b^^wferfe-^lWS 
bpwtttefcaiDeAp^asi trliftVcaj©. copi prists -abo'iifCSi'jjiBT'^oefct. 
legroiiftei^tri of the 'burden,; heing isfOi-e /^h^aii lh6^§tlM^ 
^4 *he?^fM«l»rtogethQrv,^nd is. subject tkj'Wid^f i^rlfe-^ 
t&on«)lDiphy8icaLia;nd xyla^mitml obm{)b8ltfott'»ljhatii \:4!lle¥ 
tbe stuMiB 'Crf^iehe. fticL -...';. ■•'^'^m .c>"^r ,-.'?-^i' ^•^''''••J ^''•^^^^ 
,nlu7ddsbu®sie^ fxinialcd biirdentv' tb^efore/i* i^iiiStl^ 
utriJpaEBdlood [that we • do* BbiKmth 'sdme !^^WvaMoiiiin TW 
wfesiotijtheiTniattet .briefly dfid in a'^g^towftt^iiyS laS bg-^ 
obmesitRe fetuawwiret! I ©f 'it^hiis' Ji^»bliCf^i<)tt/;ana^tJ.4^^ 
i|dt^£afa>(fa)* «fii)W]e^ ^aH^std.^d 'tgffi($u)f .^M €td>^i2^ti^ 
(JMUib*)^C(l»pted igib^ Wirhj t ll^' gV^S*^^of ^ ^^t, UiM^l^hcJ^]? 
bflitosHdcjoh afeeBtffirn^tet fjo* cbndiitit3ii§;^ ^iGffVe^%b^'^f4^ 
ibjfty dt«ni¥©*rfaluB,vbte(5nforraMi(j^i!i:, biit'-Hd li^lJlifee^tK^^ttoi 
tliaibeitia^iantjage'Dcie'pittdl knCj^wmdlore^thari^^p^c^^ '^^ 

w)IittiaQ£uy*5be ad^ri^bk^-to'tab© ^uptfie subjefctJ*fir§t 'ftrolint 
tljp.^t#f^^p^pt jQf ,4hei idokie^ , fuainac^-, 'and »-'th^ii><ftifec^86y 

f hard ore and soft ore^ the propo 

iS*fl|^W6W^-*8 .'S^^tJei^miit? fo'TOO pel 
' ra*. imuiftl6fi»'^dfn{i68fea,^sdfai'*^S c^hVfe>a)3 'tKb^W^^rbf' 
1 »ir<iuOrer)^«p(6fcT cire^ ^a^i fbitoWlbl U>fe^ Hh(» » ipki^ol^tlbfi'' ^^ 
brown ore rising from 1.30 to 100 per cent. :vy\i 

nWd.*ore and SDtt pre, the proportio 

used 

terials as follows : 

Per ton of 2,240 lbs. 

Hard ore 67.5 cts. per ton. 

Soft ore 55.4 '' *' 

Limestone 63.4 '' 

Coke $1.75 '* 



142 GEOLOGICAL 8URVKY OF ALABAMA. 

These prices are very close to the averages for ship- 
ments during 1895. 

The table that has been prepared is based on actual 
furnace records, and comprises results obtained from 
the examination of i^2,v^l7 charges, the amount of pig 
iron represented being 50,360 tons. The years selected 
were 1889, 18p0, 1893, 1894 and 1895. The tons re- 
ferred to are of 2,240 lbs. The table includes the year, 
the private number, the number of monthly charges, 
the percentage composition of the ore burden and of the 
total burden; the iron made, per charge,. and for each 
month, and the percentage of foundry grades (including 
F. F. or 4 F., but excluding gray forge, mottled and 
white); the consumption of ore, stone and coke in tons 
per ton of iron made ; the cost of the ore, the stone and 
the coke per ton of iron ; the percentage distribution 
of this cost ; and the pounds of coke required to make 
a pound of iron. The calculations have been some- 
what laborious but the results are extremely interest- 
ing and important. They do not cover as much ground 
as could be wished, but the pressure of other matters 
compelled an abridgement of the original plan. 

We will give a table of results from the same furnaces, 
consecutive months and at certain intervals. It con- 
tains the results of 82J917 charges^ and 50,360 tons of 
iron. 

Each horizontal line of figures represents monthly re- 
turns Four furnaces are represented, the ore, stone 
and coke being the same for any one furnace during 
the period, ai;^ all tons of 2,240 pounds. 



COKB ibENACES. 






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COKE FURNACES. 145 

A critical examination of thi3 table will show : 

Ist. The amount of ore used per ton of iron made in- 
creases with the per centage of hard ore in the burden,, 
rising from 2.39 tons with ^1 per cent, to 2.52 tons with 
66 per cent., and 2.78 tons with 90 per cent. 

2d. The amount of limestone used per ton of iron 
made decreases with the increase of hard ore, falling 
from 0.69 ton with 51 per cent., to 0.45 ton with 66 per 
cent, and 0.12 ton with 90 per cent. With 50 per cent, 
of hard ore in the ore burden the consumption of stone 
is 1545 lbs. per ton of iron made, with 66 per cent, of 
hard ore it is 1008 lbs. and with 90 per cent, of hard ore 
it is 269 lbs. In one furnace for a period of three 
months the coasumption of stone per ton of iron was 
0.75 ton, 

3d. The amount of coke used per ton of iron made in- 
creases with the increase of hard ore, rising from 
1.34 tons with 51 per cent, to 1.57 with 66 per cent, and 
1.61 with 90 per cent. In the case of one furnace car- 
rying 50.6 per cent, hard the consumption of coke per 
ton of iron made for a period of three months was 1.52 
tons. 

Coke is always the mos't costly ingredient of the bur- 
den. In the table uader discussion it does not fall be- 
low 53 per cent, of total raw material cost per ton 
of iron. The tendency towards increasing consumption 
of coke with increasing amounts of hard ore leads, there- 
fore, to increase cost for raw materials to a ton of 
iron. 

The consumption of coke per tOQ of iron, the quality 
of the coke, ore and stone being the same, depends 
to a very great extent upon the amount of air and its 
pressure and temperature, which is blown into the fur- 
nace per unit of time. Instances are on record in Ala- 
bama where the consumption of coke per ton of iron 
. 10 



146 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA.. 

with very heavy lime burdens over considerable periods 
did nob exceed 1.25 tons, bufc the furnace was well equip- 
ped as to boilers, engines and stoves. Under such cir- 
cumstances it has been said by one of the best furdace- 
men in the Birmingham district that he could use all 
hard ore (of the best self-fluxing type) and make iron 
with i.25 tons of coke without impairing the quality of 
the iron. 

It must, however, be said that the use of crushed hard 
ore tends to diminish the consumption of coke, for hard 
ore in large lumps is not easily penetrated by the 
reducing gases. Whan a large piice, weighing from 
50 to 75 lbs. is exposed to the heat of the furnace in 
descending the outside of it is first effected. The car- 
bonic acid is removed, the oxide of iron begins to part 
with its oxygen, and processes of disintegration are set 
up which continue until the ore is broken into sAiall 
fragments. 

It may be assumed that the oxide of iron is not com- 
pletely reduced until each piece is exposed to the deox- 
idizing gases. This takes place with comparative rapid- 
ity if the ore is porous, as with certain kinds of brown 
<)r£, or if the fragments of ore are sufficientlv small. 
They must not be too small, else the current of gas is 
checked, the burden packs and the furnace *' hangs. '* 
But if the size of the ore particles be small enough to 
allow of easy c^as-penetration while not so small as to 
cause irregularities in the descent of the burden, we 
should have comparatively favorable conditions for re- 
duction. It would appear that the hard ore has a two- 
fold advantage over the soft ore, first as regards the ad- 
mixture of lime for making a self-fluxing ore, and 
second in having the lime combined with carbonic acid. 
The first advantage renders possible the saving of ex- 
traneous lime. Using 80 per cent, of hard ore and 20 



COKE FURNACES. 1^7 

per cent, of soft ore ia the ore bnrdeu there are required 
582 lbs. of limestoae, as against 1,680 lbs. for 50 per 
cent, hard and 50 per cent, soft, a saving of 31 cents 
per ton of iron in favor of the heavier hard ore burden. 
This saving, however, may be m^re than counterbal- 
anced by the greater amount of ore and coke required 
in the heavier hard ore burden. It may not be possible 
to obtain better ore, i. e., so far as concerns its iron-con- 
tent, but it can be improved by crushiig. Crushing 
does not increase the amount of iron, but it does increase 
the reducibility of the ore by enabling the gases from 
the coke to act upon a larger surface of iron-bearing ma- 
terial. It does more than this. It farthers the evolu- 
tion of the carbonic acid in tlie ore, and this renders the 
ore more porous. 

Crushing and calcination have a common purpose, 
^i?,., to increasa the reducibility of the ore by increasing 
"the amount of iron-bsaring surface exposed to the reduc- 
ing agencies. 

The use of crushed hard ore is rapidly extending in 
Alabam I, and it will not be lon^j biforj tli? advatitacjos 
atteading it use will force themsalves upon those who 
aeem at present to be indifferent to the matter. 

In a paper on *' Large Furnaces on Alabama Material,'' 
(Transactions American Institute Mining Engineers, Vol. 
XVII, p. 141. 1839). Mr. F. W. Gordon said that the 
results at Ensley proved the possibility of miking a 
pound of iron with a pound of coke. Sine 3 that time 
and with a better coke thai was th^fi usQd it has hap- 
pened for a day or so that a pound of coke mxde a pound 
of iron, but the coke iron that has been made in the 
Birmingham district with a ton of coke per ton of iron 
is insignificent in amount, and there is no reasonable 
expectation that it will be increased in our day. The 



148 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY of ALABAMA.. 

present consumption for the best coke is 1.34 lbs. per 
pound of iron. 

If any hopes were entertained as to the possibility of 
any one of the Easley furnace making a pound of iron 
with a pound of coke even for a week at a time they 
must long since have been abandoned in the cold light- 
of facts. 

4th. The tendency of the percentage of foundry grade* 
of iron is towards a decrease with the increase of hard 
ore. While this is not strongly* accentuated still it ap- 
pears to be too evident to be neglected . Individual cases 
may be cited wherein the percentage production of foun- 
dry grades during a month was higher when the per- 
centage of hard ore rose to 80 per cent, than when it wa& 
at 52 per cent., as by numbers 34 and 20. But on the 
other hand when t;ie ore burden was composed entirely 
of hard ore, a^ in No. 3S, the percentage of foundry grades 
touched its lowest point, viz., 59.4. 

The influence of increasing amounts of hard ore on 
the quality of the iron is of the utmost importance iu the 
discussion of this subject. Too much stress can not be 
put on it, for it determines the price at which the pro- 
duct must be sold. The higher the percentage yield of 
foundry irons the more valuable is the output. Any 
thing, therefore, that tends to interfere with the make 
of foundry iron should be most carefully investigated, 
and conclusions drawn from authentic records must ba- 
the chief evidence. 

Tliirteen cases have been examined, the number of 
charges being 32,917, and the amount of iron 53,360' 
tons. Three cases in which the percentage^of hard ore 
in the ore burden was 50.9 p^r cent., 50.9 per cent, and 
52.3 shows the following percentages of foundry grades 
respectively, 99.2 per cont.,96.2 per cent. ,'90. 2 per[cent.,, 
the average being 95.2 per cent. 



COKE FURNACES. 149 

The total number of charges was 8,853, and the total 
iron made 14,798 tons. 

Four cases in which the percentage of hard ore in the 
ore burden was 48.2, 50.9, 51.1, and 52.3, show percent- 
ages of foundry grades, respectively, 83.9, 68.3, 88.6, and 
S7.0, the average being 81.9. The number of charges 
^was 11,325, and the iron made 16,845 tons. 

In these cases the average percentage of hard ore in 
"the ore burden was 50.6, as against 51.3 in the 
first case, while the average percentage of foundry 
^grades was 81.9, as against 95.2. While there was a 
very small difference between these two cases in respecS 
of the amount of hard ore used there was a marked dif- 
ference in the percentage of foundry grades made, 95.2 
per cent, and 81.9 per cent. 

Three cases were examined in each of which the per- 
centage of hard ore in the ore burden was 65.9. In 
one of them with 1,50S charges and 2,070 tons of iron? 
"tihe percentage of foundry grades was 95.7. In anotht^c 
"with 1,343 charges and 2,61 ^ tons of iron the percentage 
of foundry grades was 87.8. in the third witli 1,512 
-<5harges and 2,898 tons of iron the percentage of foun- 
dry grades was 93.2. The average of 4,o63 charges and 
8,483 tons of iron was, in foundry grades, 92.2 per 
cent. 

Finally, three cases were examined in which the per- 
centage of hard ore in the ore burden rosn from 80.7 to 
100. In one of these with 80.7 per cent, hard thero wr)re 
1,805 charges, 3,315 tons of iron, and 93.8 per cent, of 
foundry grades. In another with 91.5 ptn* cent, hard 
there were 1,995 charges, 3,901 tons of iron, and 88.9 
per cent, foundry grades. In the third with 100 per 
cent, of hard there were 1,576 charg.^s, 3,005 tons of 
iron , and 59.4 per cent, of foundry grades. 

Averaging the results from the two furnaces carrying 



150 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

about 50 per cent, of hard ore in the ore burden we find 
that with 20,178 charges and 31,643 tons of iron the per- 
centage of foundry grades was 88.5. 

Comparing this with the results from the furnace car- 
rying 65.9 per cent, of hard ore, with 4,363 charges, 8,483 
tons of iron and 92.2 per cent, foundry grades, there 
seems to be an advantage of 3.7 per cent, foundry grades 
for the higher percentage of hard ore. 

Taking these two together and comparing with them 
the results from the burden averaging 90 per cent, of 
hard ore there is found to be a decided falling off in the 
percentage of foundry grades. 

Perhaps all that can now be said is that there seems- 
to be a tendency towards inferior grades of iron when 
the percentage of hard ore in the ore burden passes 66. 
The smaller the yield of iron from the furnace the higher 
is the percentage of foundry grades, and this seems to 
be independent of the amount of hard ore carried. Out 
of 8 cases in which the monthly yield was between 3,900 
and 5,000 tons there were 37.5 per cent, in which the 
yield of foundry grades fell below 87 per cent. In 5 cases 
in which the monthly yield was between 2,500 and3, 500 
tons there was only 1, or 20 per cent, in which the per- 
centage of foundry grades fell below 87. 

Whether we may conclude from this that rapid driving 
on a hard ore burden tends to lower grades of iron is not 
quite clear. Provided that the furnace has sufficient 
engine power to furnish the requisite blast and stoves 
enough to furnish the requisite heat there does not seem 
to be any good reason why she should not work off on 
foundry grades satisfactorily, even with a very heavy 
hard ore burden. But to attempt to make high grade 
iron with hard ore (limy) burdens and insufficient blasts 
or heat is apt to cause numerous disappointments. 



coke furnaces. 151 

Ore burdens composed op hard, soft and brown 
ore, the production of brown rising from 1.3 per 
cent. to 100 per cent. 

The table embodies the results from 40,270 charges, 
and 66,653 tons of iron. The delivery prices for the raw 
materials are as follows, per ton of 2,240 lbs. 

Hard ore 67.5 cents . 

Soft ore 55.4 " 

Brown ore 1 .00 '* 

Coke 1.75 '' 

They are the same as for the table giving the results 
from ore burdens of hard and soft ore, except that, in addi- 
tion we have brown ore. 

They are not assumed prices but such as was actually 
paid in the Birmingham District during 1895. Three 
furnaces are represented, the ore, stone and coke being 
the same for any one furnace during the period. Each 
horizontal line of figures represents monthly returns : 



OBOLOQICAL BOKVBY OF ALABAMA. 



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COKE FURNACES. 155 

A careful examination of the table will show : 
1st. The amount of brown ore used per ton of iron* 
uade varies from 2.28 to 2.49 tons. In 1880 the brown 
>re was not a3 good as in 1894 and 1895, and the con- 
jumption of ore per ton of iron rose to 2.49 tons, al- 
ihough the average percentage of brown ore in the ore 
burden was 16 3. 

With 44. 1 per cent, of hard, 52.1 per cent, of soft and 
3.8 percent, of brown the comsumption of materials per 
ton of iron was as tons : 

Ore 2.28 

Stone 0.74 

Coke 1 .38 

^4.40 
tnd the cost of the material was : 

>re $1.43 

itone 0.47 

-oke 2.39 

$4.29 

When the proportions were : per cent. 

aard 58.6 

Soft 25.1 

Brown l6.3 

ihe consumption of material was, in tons per ton of 
Lron : 

Ore - 2.49 

Stone 0.42 

Coke 1.56 

4.47 
and the cost per ton of iron was : 

Ore $1.73 

Stone 0.25 

Coke 2.77 

$4.75 



156 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 

When the proportions were : 

Hard 16.1 

Soft 23.1 

Brown 60.8 

the consumption, in tons per of iron, was : 

Ore 2.41 

Stone 0.87 

Coke 1.30 

and the cost per ton of iron was : 

Ore $2.03 

Stone .0.55 

Coke 2.29 

$4.87 
2d. The amount of limestone used per ton of iron 
varies according to the amount of hard ore used, being 
0.42 ton with 58 per cent. 0.74 ton with 44 per cent., and 
0.87 ton with 16 per cent. It may be instructive to com- 
pare these figures with corresponding results from an ore 
burden of hard and soft. With 48 per cent, hard in such 
a burden, which is the nearest to 44 per cent, as above, 
the coQsumption of stone in tons per ton of iron was 
0.79, as against 0.74 with 44 j^er cent, of hard in a bur- 
den carrying brown ore. The nearest figure in the hard- 
soft burden to the 58 per cent, hard in the hard soft 
brown burden is 65.9 percent., and this required 0.45 ton 
of stone per ton of iron, as against 0.42 ton in the brown 
ore burden carrying 58 per cent, of hard ore. 

It is important to note that a hard ore burden with 
100 per cent, of hard required no stone, while in the 
brown ore burden with 100 per cent, of brown the 
amount of stone required per ton of iron was 0.87 ton, 
the highest consumption of stone to be observed in these 
tables. 



COKE FURNACES. 157 

3d. The amount of coke used per ton of iron decreases 
with the increase of brown ore, except in the case of the 
furnace in operation in 1890, and using 58.6 per cent, of 
hard ore. In this case the consumption of coke was much 
in excess of the returns for 1894 and 1895, and the gen- 
eral increase of coke with increase of hard ore is borne 
out also by this table. 

4th. The percentage proiucfeion of foundry iron from 
brown ore burdens is impaired by increasing the amount 
of hard ore. With 44 per cent, of hard and 3 8 per cent, 
of brown ore the average percentage of foundry grades 
was 97 2. With 58 per cent, hard and 16 per cent. 
brown it was 88.2 per cent, With 16 per cent, hard and 
60 per cent, brown it was 96.9. 

As might be expected from the more complex nature of 
the burden the admixture of hard, soft and brown ores 
gives rise to greater variations in the economies of pro- 
duction than in the case with burdens of hard and soft 
ore. The variations are traceable to the fluctuations in 
the quality of brown ore, for they exhibit wider ranges 
of composition than either the hard or the soft ore. 
Then again in physical qualities they are apt to show 
rapid oscillations. The condition in which brown ore 
from the same mine and washer reaches the stockhouse 
has to be observed personally before one can fully ap- 
preciate what these may be, and often are. When the 
brown ore **bank" is in fairly good ore, and the clay is 
easily disintegrated, and water is abundant the ore 
comes in clean. When the clay is **tough," the ore cherty, 
and the water scanty, the ore comes in wet, and serious- 
ly hampered with clay, or with too much insoluble mat- 
ter. 

In spite, however, of these obstacles, which at times 
may cause trouble, the fact remains that the use of 
brown ore is highly advantageous. There are very few 



158 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

furnaces that are not glad to get it, and now and then to 
pay a good deal more than $1 00 p,er ton for it. 

Instances are on record where as much as $1.50 per 
ton has been paid in the Birmingham District for brown 
ore of 55 per cent, iron, although the average price is 
much lower. Good brown ore always commands a ready 
sale at fairly remunerative prices. 

Wi^h the exception of a few furnaces that are not fa- 
vorably located with respect to hard and soft ore, but 
are within easy reach of brown ore, the proportion of 
brown ore used in the coke frunaces rarely exceeds 2d 
per cent, and for the mo^fc part is not above 20 per cent. 
The ore burden is arranged in various ways, 50 per cent, 
hard, 25 per cent, soft and 25 per cent, brown ; 40 per 
cent, hard, 45 per cent, soft and 15 percent, brown ; &c- 
&c. 

Under special conditions, such as a large order from 
pipe-works, <fec. the proportion of brown ore is increased 
until th3 ore harden may be composed entirely of it. 
But by far the greater amount of iron m ide from bur- 
dens cirryini]^ brown ore is made with about 20 per 
cent, of browa, hand picked, and washed but . not cal- 
cined. 

The practice could b3 greatly benefited by using wash- 
ed and calcined ore but so far as is known not a single 
coke furnace is in operation on this kind of niaterial,ex- 
clusively or in admixrAiro with hard, and sofo ore. 

What has b.^ea said as to furnace burdens is true in a 
general way, It is n )t our purpose now to go into the 
details of furnace practices n)r to discuss th3 manner in 
whicli the raw materials may be used to tlie best advan- 
tage. This, alter all, must be left to the judgment of 
the furnace manager, which in turn is based on actual 
experience under varying conditions. It not infrequent- 
ly luippens tliat one man will take the same materials 
and the same furnace and produce better iron at a less 
cost than another, wliose theoretical knowledge may be 



COKE FURNACES. 159 

f the best but whose practical acquaintance with the art 

making iroQ has not qualified him to manage a fur- 
a successfully. , 

There are excellent furnace-men whose knowledge of 
^he difference between silicon and silica is somewhat 
liazy, and who would find it extremely tiresome to cal- 
"Culate the cubical area of a furnace, They have ac- 
<juired their information by hard knocks and the exercise 
of common-$ense and a tenacious memory. We have 
ia mind now a good furnace-man who will probably die 
in the belief that carbonic acid is a combustible mate- 
rial, and who could not calculate the formula of a cinder 
containing 50 lime, 35 silica and 15 alumina if he was 
to suffer deca.pitation the next day. 

Iron m-^king is not only a science, it is an art, and 
one too calling for the constant display of very consid- 
erable knowledge and skill, and of untiring patience. 

So long as the furnace is working satisfactorily all is 
Avell , but to know what to do and when to do it in case 
something goes wrong, this is what makes or mars the 
furnace manager. 

A furnace may work along weeks at a time on the 
same burden and produce its normal quantity of iron, 
and that of a good quality, when some subtle change 
may take place, di^jcernible only by an experienced eye, 
and what is to be done must be done at once; 

There is one circumstance in connection with iron 
making in Alabama that renders the daily life of a fur- 
nace-man anything but "skittles and beer." It is. the 
wide and at times rapid variation in the quality of the 
raw materials. The coke is of fairly uniform composi- 
tion, but the ore is often quite irregular. 

There lie before us certain furnace records giving the 
daily charges of ore, stone and coke over a considerable 
period. We will take a certain month when the make 



160 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

of iron was 5,719 tons, 77 per cent, being foundry grades. 
There were used 2,503 charges, during the month, a 
daily average of 80.7. 

The furnace was using 80 per cent, of hard ore, and 
20 per cent, of soft. During the 31 days the amount of 
ore in tons per ton of iron varied from 2.62 to 2.19, or 
963 lbs. This was during the entire month. From one 
day to the next there were difiFerences of 600 lbs. of ore 
per ton of iron. In other Words, if the furnace could 
have been charged every day with ore carrying 45.6 per 
cent, of iron, as was the case on one day, the yield of 
iron in the month could have been 6,620 tons instead of 
5,719, a difference in favor of the better ore of 901 tons 
for the month. The daily production of iron could have 
been 213 tons instead of 184 tons. 

Furthermore. Not only is the daily yield of the fur- 
nace seriously hampered by such irregularities in the 
ore, the percentage of foundry iron in the make is also 
lessened, and there are opportunities for an increased 
consumption of coke and greater costs of production. 

In ])urdening a furnace it is in every way better to 
have a leaner ore of regular composition than a richer 
ore of variable and varying composition. 

There would be fewer and more restricted variations 
in the cost accounts, and less interference with the pro- 
duction of the better grades of iron in the one case than 
in the other. 

The question of securing ore of more constant compo- 
sition is one that can not be brought too forcibly to the 
attention of iron makers in Alabama. It dominates all 
other considerations, and is to-day the most vital prob- 
lem confronting them. No other single question is at 
once so important and so little studied, the interest in it 
seeming to be in inverse proportion to its gravity. 

As a further contribution to the study of this subject, 



COKB FURNACES. 161 

-fcliere is given a table showing what is probably the best 
practice with coke furnaces using brown ore ex-clusively. 
The consumption of coke is remarkably low, being 0.87 
lb. per pound of iron, or 1948 lbs. for 2240 lbs. of iron. 
The percentage of foundry grades made was 100, and 
the cost of raw materials, per ton of iron, was $4.28. 
The coke was high in ash, 15.7 per cent., and the lime- 
stone contained 2.0 per cent, of silica. 

The furnace was banked for three days, and yet du- 
ring the period made 239 tons of iron per 24 hours. 

This is certainly good practice, and it is doubtful if 
anything better, if indeed anything so good, has been 
recorded in the State. 



11 



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COKE FURNACES. 163 

CHARCOAL FURNACE BURDENS. 

The reputation of the chafcodl iron made in the State 
has been most excellent, especially that of Shelby fur- 
naces, and even now in these times of depression the 
Shelby iron is sought for by those who atill desire a 
high grade charcoal iron. 

The charcoal used is made for the most part in the 
old way, in mounds and heaps, the attempt to recover 
by products in specially constructed kilns being confin- 
ed to the Round Mountain Company in Cheroke county. 

By far the greater amount of charcoal iroii is derived 
from the brown ores, the consumption of ore per ton of 
iron being from 1.80 to 2.03 tons. 

The following table exhibits the furnace burdens in 
good practice over a period of 4 months , y^iih bi^wtt 
ore : 



GBOLOGICAL SUBVEY OF ALABAMA. 







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COKB FUBNACBS. lOS 

-A^ocording to these returns the average percentage > 
^uxrri3rce yield, of iron in these brown ores was 52.<, the 
^v-^xrage consumption of ore per ton of iron being 1.90 
'^ox:^ - the average consumption of limestone was 0.33 
^^^■^^ » or 739 pounds; and of charcoal 100.1 bushels. 

Tlae ore was partly washed and calcined, partly mere- 
^y "vvashed, No. 46 being washed and calcined. 

Investigations that have been carried on for some 
^'^^^^xnths, but which are not yet to be published, have 
®^c>>ynthat ther^is a marked decrease in the amount of 
y^^si,:rcoal required per ton of iron and a decided increase 
■'■■'-^ "fche output of the furnace consequent upon the use of 
^^^^^^shed and calcined ore. This may not appear from 
^""-^^ examination of the returns of a single month, as for 
"tance in No. 46.' But after comparing the same ore 
-^er these different conditions, the other elements of 
»ctice being the same; there is no room for doubt. 
^ The charcoal furnaces have the advantage over the 
e furnaces of much better ore, but their fuel is far 
ore costly than coke, and the percentage cost of the 
el is considerable more than with coke iron. 
Charcoal iron is worth more than coke iron, the pres- 
>it selling price being about twice as much for the one 
s for the other. The entire product is consumed by 
^^^>Qanufacturers of car wheels, and those who make a 
^"^pecialty of tough, chilled castings. In the old days a 
-^reat deal of charcoal iron was used in boiler plates, 
Ibut the increasing use of soft steel for this purpose has 
^adually destroyed this business, and very little of it 
now goes to boiler works. 



166 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 



CHAPTER yi. 

PIG IRON. 

No Bessemer iron is produced in the State, as the ores 
so far exploited carry entirely too nfuch phosphorus. 
Putting the maximum phosphorus allowed in Bessemer 
iron at 0.10 per cent., an ore containing 50 per cent, of 
iron and 0.05 per cent, of phosphorus would give pig 
iron with 0.10 percent, of phosphorus. As a rule the 
ores used in the State do not contain' as much as 50 per 
cent, of iron, for by far the greater amount of iron is 
made from the soft red and the limv ores of less rich- 
ness. There are brown ores that carry 50 per cent, of 
iron, and even more, but with the exception of the 
furnaces at Shelby, Anniston, Round Mountain and 
Sheffield, with a maximum yearly capacitv of about 
200,000 tons, there are no furnaces using brown ore ex- 
clusively. The brown ores in actual use carry not less 
than 0.30 per cent, of phosphorus, and taking their con- 
tent of iron, on the average, at 52 per cent., there would 
be found in the pig iron not less than 0.47 per cent, of 
phosphorus, nearly five times as much as the maximum 
allowed in Bessemer iron. When it comes to mixing 
brown ore with soft and limy (hard) fossil ores, as is 
the usual practice, the actual amount of iron in the ore 
as charged is dependent on the proportions of the vari- 
ous ores used. It certainly will not exceed, on the aver- 
age, 44 per cent., if: indeed it be not nearer 42 per cent. 
With 0.30 per cent, of phosphorus in the ore burden, 
this would mean at least 0.68 per cent, of phosphorus in 



PIQ XROV. 167 

tkl^Q ifojx. Tk^ne is uot much iron ma4e in the State 
^ali qf^riiias leas th^Q 0.70 per ceat. of phosphorus, €ui4 
tis^ lowest phoBphorus thj^t any iron-producing company 
"would ]t>e w^rante4 in specifying would be 0.75* percent. 
There are some brown ores near Talladega, belonging 
to the Alpine Mountain district, that have been shown 
to carry less than 0.05 per cent, phosphorus per 50 per 
cent, of iron. Several years ago the furnace at Talla- 
dega contracted to supply Bessemer, iron made from 
these ores, to a Pennsylvania steel company, and some 
3000 tons were shipped . But for some reason the en- 
terprise languished, and has not been revived. It is 
almost a hopeless undertaking to make Bessemer iron 
from these ores. In places they are very low in phos- 
phorus and great expectations have been based on them. 
But they are variable in phosphorus, showing here very 
low phosphorus, there a good deal more, and at no great 
distance 0.10 per cent., 0.20 per cent., and 0.30 per cent. 
They are very good ores, so far as their content of iron 
is concerned, but the phosphorus is liable to greiat varia- 
tions, and on this account they can not be successfully 
used in the manufacture of Bessemer iron. 

Now and then attention is directed anew to some 
seam, or deposit of ore that carries phosphorus below 
the Bessemer limit, but such ores have not come into 
market. 

Next to some of the low-phosphorus brown ores come 
certain magnetic ores of Clay and Talladega counties. 
They have been explored very little, and not much is 
known of them. They have been already mentioned in 
the chanter on Ores. 

It would not have been thought necessary to say even 
this much as to Bessemer iron in this State had not the 
writer received many letters from abroad in reference to 
the subject. It may be said once for all that little or no 



168 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 

iron is made here with less than 0.50 per cent, of phos- 
phorus, and it is not thought that Bessemer ore, in 
quantity, exists here. The pig iron made in Alabama 
is for foundries, rolling mills, and pipe works, where the 
percentage of phosphorus is not of so much importance. 
Within the last two years some of the iron made has 

also gone for the manufacture of steel by the basic open 
hearth process, and this is referred to in the chapter on 
Steel. 

The coke pig iron is graded according to a certain sys- 
tem which has grown up in the Birmingham district, 
and has very little, beyond custom, to commend it. It 
is illogical, cumbersome, and ridiculous. These faults 
might be overlooked if it possessed a fair degree of ac- 
curacy, but it has not even this merit, and exists by 
virtue of a certain inertia acquired during the past sev- 
eral years. Whatever usefulness it may once have had 
it has sloughed off, and it now remains as a monument of 
absurdity, whose distorted outlines are not even softened 
by the hand of time, for it is not yet 20 years old. 

There are now eleven grades of coke iron, and happy 
is the grader whose u,: erring skill enables him to dis- 
criminate between them. He is indeed a vara avis! 
These eleven grades are, proceeding from the *hot' to 
the 'cold' irons : 

Open Silver Gray. 

Close Silver Grav. 

No. 2 Soft. 

No. 1 Soft. 

No. 1 Foundry. 

No. 2 Foundry. 

No. 3 Foundry. 

No. 4 Foundry (Foundry Forge) . 

Gray Forge. 

Mottled . 

White. 



PIG IRON. 169 

The first eight are generally grouped under the term 
^*foundry irons," and the last three under the term 
■^'inill irons." Iron for pipe works is for the most part 
INo. 3 and No. 4 Foundry. 

The article by Mr. W. II. Brannon, on Grading Iron 
in the Birmingham District, which appeared in the first 
edition, is still pertinent, and is re-published here. 
"There is no better grade in the State than Mr. Bran- 
non, so far as knowledge of the iron is concerned, and 
no more conscientious man in the discharge of the oner- 
ous and delicate duties that devolve upon him . 

The article in question was prepared partly for this 
publication, and partly for the Alabama Industrial and 
Scientific Society, in whose Proceedings it may also be 
found, Vol. VI, 1896, pages 11-14. 

So far as concerns yard grading there is nothing more 
to be said. Mr. Brannon has covered the ground thor- 
oughly, and his paper is recommended to those who wish 
to know the best practice in the Birmingham district : 



THE GRADING OF SOUTHERN COKE IRON WITH 
SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE BIR- 
MINGHAM DISTRICT. 

{Proc. Ala. Indust, & Sci, Soc, Vol. VI, 1896, vp^ ll-lJ,,,) 

By W. H. Brannon, Bessemer, Ala. 



Eight years ago there were in the Birmingham Dis- 
ijrict 15 grades of iron, viz: — 1 Foundry; 2 Foundry; 
:2i Foundry ; 3 Foundry ; Extra No. 1 Mill ; No. 2 Mill ; 



170 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 

Motfcled; White; No. 1 Bright; Medium Bright ; Close 
gright ; No. 1 Silvery ; No. 2 Silvery ; and Silvery Mill ; 

This list was revised in 1888, and to-day we recogai?e 
11 grades, viz: — No. 2 Silvery; No. 1' Silvery ; No. 2 
Soft; No. 1 Soft; No. 1 Foundry; No. 2 Foundry; No. 
3 Foundry; No. 4 Foundry ; GrayForg); M3titled; and 
White. 

In 1888 very little attention was paid to chemical 
analysis, the irons being graded almost entirely by color 
and granulation. In addition to having a fair knowl- 
edge of the principal chemical ingredients of pig iron 
the grader now must be thoroughly familiar with the 
four points in uniform grading, viz: — color, granula- 
tion fracture and face. 

No. 2 Silvery contains from 5 to 5.50 per cent, of sili- 
con, has very little or no granulation, and is almost 
smooth, with a galvanized appearance. No. 1 Silvery 
has some granulation, and a smooth face, and contains 
from 4.50 to 5 per cent, of silicon. Both these irons are 
weak in fracture, and show a fine, silvery lus<re on a 
fresh face, and are flaky. They should exhibit no dark 
spots, and the crystallization is obscure. They are what 
they purport to be ** Silvery Irons," and the difference- 
between them, on the yard, is mainly, one of granula- 
tion. They are the hottest irons, and contain much, 
more silicon and much less combined carbon than any 

of the other grades. Their carbon is almost wholly in ' 
the shape of graphite, but the large excess of silicon 
prevents this ingredient from conferring a dark color on 
the iron. 

No. 2 Soft contains 3.50 to 4.0 per cent, of silicon^ 
No. 1 Soft from 3.0 to 3.5 per cent. They are both of a 
light color, smooth face and weak fracture. A distinct 
granulation begins to be apparent in No. 2 Soft, which 
is more pronounced in No. I Soft, but in neither of these 



Pie iBOM. 171 

grades ia the granulation 30 marked as in the Fouadry 
iions. 

The Soft irons are darker than the Silvery irons, but 
lighter in. color than the Foundry irons, and the granu- 
lation is not so jagged as in these latter grades. In par- 
ticular they do not show a silvery appearance, and are 
not flaky. The increasing ratio of graphite to silicon 
begins to manifest itself in the Soft irons in the darken- 
ing of the color as compared with the Silvery iron^. 

No. 1 Foundry contains from 2.50 to 3.0 per cent, of 
silicon, has a very open and regular granulation extend- 
ing through the entire face, and a dark gray color. The 
cjrystallization is marked, and the face is rough to the 
feel. The difference between this and No. 2 Foundry, 
which contains from 2.25 to 2.50 per cent, of silicon, is 
the same in kind as exists between the two silvery, and 
the two soft irons, and is chiefly one of granulation. In 
No. 2 Foundry? the grain is not so open as in No. 1 Foun- 
dry, nor is the crystallization so coarse. The color may 
be as dark in one as in the other, but in No. 1 Foundry 
there is a deep blackish gray color which is absent in 
No. 2 -Foundry. 

No. 3 Foundry contains from 2.0 to 2.25 per cent, of 
silicon, and resembles No. 1 and No. 2 Foundry in struc- 
ture, hut the granulation is much less marked. The 
crystallization is finer than in No. 2 Foundry, and the 
color, while still dark gray, is not so pronounced. 

No. 4 Foundry, recently called Foundry Forge, shows 
the dark gray color of the other foundry irons, but the 
granulation is closes and the crystallization finer. It 
car ries from 1.75 to 2 per cent, o f silicon. Taken to 
getherthe Foundry irons are distinguished by dark gray 
color, open grain, and well marked crystallization, three 
points which are seen to the best advantage in No. 1 
Poundry . 



172 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 

Gray Forge is the old No. 2 Mill. It has 1.50 to 1.75 
per cent, of silicon, and shows a pebbled granulation in 
the center, with mottled edges about one-quarter of an 
inch deep all around. It has a blistered and pitted face, 
and is frequently honey-combed on the fractured end, 
some of the holes being an eighth to a half an inch 
deep. 

Mottled iron has from 1.25 to 1.50 per cent of silicon, 
shows no granulation, and has a pepper and salt appear- 
ance on a fresh face. It begins to show an increasing 
amount of combined carbon, about one-half of the total 
carbon being in this condition. 

White iron has from 1.0 to 1.25 per cent, of silicon, 
shows no granulation, and is often as white as bleached 
linen. It carries very lifctle graphite, and is usually 
higti in sulphur. It is very bird, often resisting the 
drill, and on this aocounfc it is difficult to sample proper- 

ly- 

In sampling pig iron one of two methods may be used, 
the choice depending on the extent of the subsequent 
analysis. When silicon, sulphur, phosphorus, manga- 
nese and total carbon are to be determined the iron is 
best sampled from the runner, from 4 to 6 small ladles 
full being taken during the cast and shotted in a bucket 
of cold water. When graphite, and combined carbon are 
also to be determined borincr must be restored to. In 
this case two methods may be used. In the first, the 
face of the pig is bored in three places to the depth of i 
to 1 inch along a line drawn diagonally across the face, 
the borings beiug mixed. In the second, the pig is bored 
diagonally almost entirely through in one place. 

In boring pig iron care must be taken to prevent the 
intermixture of sand from the pig with the borings, and 
it is well to put a careful man in charge of the drill. In 
boring chilled pig, and in sampling from the runner, 



PIG IRON. 178 

tlaere is, of course, much less danger of adhering sand 
getting into the borings. A neglect of this matter may 
{ often mislead the grader, as sand in the borings shows 
V ^P as silicon in the pig, and a No. 3 Foundry may be 
p classed as a No. 1 Soft. It is a difficult and tiresome 
matter to separate sand from borings by means of a mag- 
net, and at the best entails a good deal of extra and un- 
necessary labor upon the chemist. 

The tendency of the trade is now strongly towards a 
closer chemical inspection of the irons offered for sale, 
and the grader who intends to keep up with his profes- 
sion must take this fact into consideration. He must, 
therefore, acquaint himself with the effect of the chief 
constituents upon the various irons in respect of color, 
granulation, fracture and face. He is called upon every 
d^y to decide questions involving a great deal of money, 
*^d as it sometimes happens that he cannot wait for an 
analysis he must be prepared to grade without it. But 
^® should by all means cultivate the closest intimacy 
^^itfci the laboratory, and have the grades analysed as 
^fton as possible, and not neglect to inform himself as 
^^ tilie influence of the burden, heat and pressure upon 
^^ product under his care. 

C^This paper was prepared for the Birmingham meet- 
"*"^^5 of the Alabama Industrial and Scientific Society, 
^^^y, 1896. 

-At that time the prices, f. o. b. furnace Birmingham 
^ trict, for the grades given were about as follows , per 
"•^^^il of 2,240 lbs. : 

Open Silver rrvay $8.75 

Close *' *' ^ 8.50 

1 Soft 7.75 

2 Soft 7.50 

1 Foundry 8.25 

2 Foundry •. 7.75 



174 . GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

3 Foundry $7.25 

4 Foundry 6.90 

Gray Forge 6.75 

Mottled . , 6.75 

White... 6.25 

No oiie is more competent thati Mr. Brannon to speak 
of this matter, and it is gratifying to heat him acknowl- 
edge his dependence upon the chemist. He sAys, speak- 
ing of the yard grader, "He should by all means culti- 
vate the closest intimacy with the laboratory, and 
have the grades analysed as often as possible.'' 

But even when this is done, and after th^ grader hailB 
re-standardized his eyes by constaiit affiliation with the 
chemist, it is impossible for him to gi'ade accurately, un- 
less the furndc^ is riinding uniformly. 

For instance, any one at all fatuilliar with the recent 
course of events in the Birmingham district knows that 
it has become difficult to make high»silioon iron. Open 
silver gray, closje silver gray, and No. 2 soft are scatrce^ 
and No. 1 soft (Carries the silicon of No* 3 Foundry. 

The irons th-at formerly carried fi*om 3 td 5 per oent. 
of silicon now carry from 2 to 3 per (5ent., and thisl with^ 
out having suflfered a notable change in appearance. 
Perhaps it should be said that the changes in appearance 
by which the grader is guided are not of such a charac- 
ter as to enable him to seize upon and use them for his 
purposes* 

Be the explanation what it may, the conscientious 
grader is brought to face this practical difficulty, the 
former high-silicon irons have changed their composi- 
tion without changing their appearance, corresponding- 

An iron that looks like a No. 2 soft, or a No. 1 soft, 
and which, according to ordinary yard grading, would 
be classed as such, is found in the laboratory to contain 



PIG IRON. 175 

less than 2.50 per cent of silicon, and may contain only 
2-0 per cent. These are not exceptional instances, but 
lia^ppen every day, and have been happeaing for a year 
o^ HQore. 

Oould anything show more strongly the utter absurdity 
of tilie present system of grading? Companies that da 
not seem to care what they make, and that have not had 
^*>.ixlyoe6 made for months can not be expected to take a 
^^r^y lively interest in a reform of what is so entirely bad 
^^3 to merit almost an v condemnation. Others that show 
^■»=i. active interest in what is going on. in different direc* 
^ions seem to hesitate to attack the ridiculous system in 
They should take cOut-age, for formidable as it 

ay appear it is really on its last legs and is propped u-p 
ad With rotten timbers. 

fiat thei'fe tnUSt be something ill the systeW to Com- 

^iM^lid it, fcUttibeil'soTfie as it is. The nato6S of the grade* 

-*:ife ndt aTtbgdther hocus Jiocus, as might wdl be imagin'ed, 

V^ut stand for certain qualities which are recbgni^ed ift" 

t¥Ad^, tfndai'e found of convenient use. The diffei^ent 

gi^ad^s of ifdn must have names, and the ilAttoes mu«t 

^igtilfy qualities, ol* there WOuM be endless cottf asioti: . 

rix^ pi^e^ent criticism is not dii*ected against naming the 

vai»ioUs gi*ades, for this is ihdispensible, but against the 

necfrtless multiplicatlOli of grades Atid names. The pi*es- 

6tit Mdiculoiis system has gi'ot^n up on irregularities of 

furnace practice, and is continued because of some fan- 

^i^d. economy. Tliei'e is ideally ilo reason Why there 

^Hotiia be moi^e thah five or at most six gi*ades. 

"NVhen Mr. Kenneth Robertson prepared a paper on 
-*■ -"^o Grading of Birmingham Pig Iron, (Trans. Amer. 
^^^t. Min. Engrs., Vol. XVII, 188S-89, PP. 94-96) there 
^^^^r© eleven grades, viz. No. 1 Foundry, No. 2 Foundry, 
^^- 2i Foundry, No. I Mill, No. 2 Mill, No. 1 C, No. 2 



176 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 

C, (Silvery Irons) No. 1 Bright, No. 2 Bright, Mottled^ 
and White. 

At that time No. 1 Foundry carried 3.66 per cent, of 
silicon, No. 1 Mill, which was also known as No. 3 
Foundry, carried 2.87 per cent., and No. 2 C. as much 
as 7.09 percent. 

In ten years there has been a complete change in the 
composition of these irons, and yet the same system of 
nomenclature is retained. High silicon irons are sel- 
. dom made, and the same may be said of No. 1 Foundry. 
The No. 1 Foundry, of ten years ago would now be classed 
as a Soft iron. 

The agreement made in 1888 by the chief produf'.ers of 
southern iron recognized nine grades, viz. Silver Gray, 
No. 2 Soft, No. 1 Soft, No. 1 Foundry, No. 2 Foundry, 
No. 3 Foundry, Gray Forge, Mottled, and White, andia 
1893 a grade intermediate between No. 3 Foundry and 
Gray Forge was added, and called Foundry Forge. It 
is now called No. 4 Foundry. 

Now and then it happened that a close, fine grained 
silvery looking iron would show on analysis not more 
that 2 per cent, of silicon, while again, without greatly 
altering in appearance, it would show from 2.90 to 3.10 
per cent, silicon. If the silicon was about 2 per cent, the 
iron was termed Foundry Forge, as it is now termed 
No, 4 Foundry; if the silicon was about 3 per cent, it 
was and is yet, termed No. 1 Soft. 

Ordinarily and when grading for the same furnace 
running on about the same burden, the competent grader 
comes verjT^ near the proper grade, and can be trusted 
to ship on his own judgment. But when complaints 
arise, as they do sometimes, and especially on a de- 
pressed market, the consumer has to be shown that the 
iron he objected to as not being No. 3 Foundry, for in- 
stance, does really contain from 1.75 to 2 per cent, of 



pIq IRON. • 177 

[icon, and falls within the limits for this particular 
'ade. This much as to silicon. But how is it in res-, 
ct to graphitic, and combined carbon? Is the iron to 

graded solely by its silicon content? It is granted 
at for the most part iron can be fairly well graded on 

CDutent of silicon, and that the variation of this ele- 
5nt. confers upon the iron peculiarities of color, granu- 
iion, fracture, and face that are more strongly marked 
ah peculiarities due to other elements. It is this fact 
at has rendered possible the present system of visual 
d tactual grading. It was quietly assumed that if the 
icon was all right, the iron was all right, and this was 
pp^omented by the further assumption that if the iron 
9ts all right the silicon was allright. 
Tho ea-iest way of grading iron is by its silicon coh- 
kit, but it by no means follows that it is the best way, 

thci only way. Leaving out the content of sulphur, 

not seriously affecting any of the grades above Gray 
>rge, there should be certdin ratios established between 
icon and combined carbon for the Soft and Foundry 
>tis. The variation in the amount of silicon does, of 
Urso, influence the quality of the iron, and one might 

even farther and allow that it influences the iron 
i>re than any other single element. But combined car- 

• • • - ■ - . 

n IS by no means to be neglected. 

In 29 complete analyses of iron graded as No. 3 Foun- 
y, I found that the silicon varied. from 1.45 to 3.83 per 
cit^, the average being 2.37 percent. Five of the sain- 
ts should have been graded as No. I Soft, as the silicon 

Ms' between 3.04 and 3.17 per cent.', and one should 

.■ .- ' .• ..'.•■. « . ' ' ■ 

'Ve been No. 2 Soft with silicon 3.83 per cent. These 

>iis were all graded on the yard by a careful and com- 

tent man, yet in 6 cases out of 29, or 20.7 per cent., 

^"iron graded as No. 3 Foundry was really Soft. ' Ex- 
12 



lis 



GEOLOGICAL StJBVBY OP ALABAMA. 



eluding those six, the average silicon in the other 23 was 
2 IG per cent., a result not far wrong, if at all, as No. 3 
Foundry may vary from 1.90 to 2.20 per cent, of silicon. 
In the six cases in which the silicon was over 3 per cent, 
the combined carbon was 1.04 per cent., and in the 23 
others it was 0.82 per cent., the average of the 29 being 
0.87 per cent. 

The combined carbon in No. 3 Foundry does not 
usually run as high as 0.82 per cent., the average being 
about 0.40 per. cent. In the Soft irons it should not be 
above 0.40 per cent., but in some cases especially when 
the iron resembles No. 3 Foundry, it may go to 1.00 per 
cent. 

We have then to discriminate between Soft irons with 
over 3 per cent, of silicon, and the normal amount of 
combined carbon, andirons which contain over 3 per 
cent, of silicon and upwards of 1 per cent, of combined 
carbon. Grading on fracture and appearance some of 
these latter irons would be put in No. 3 Foundry ; grad- 
ing on silicon content they would go in the Soft irons, 
with the understanding that the combined carbon was 
abnormally high. 

The same principle holds good in respect of the other 
Foundry irons, although in a less degree. It is this ten- 
dency of the lower grades of Foundry iron to show higher 
percentage of combined carbon than ia usually the case 
that renders grading by fracture and appearance some- 
what uncertain. In case of doubt a silicon estimation 
will enaole one to decide whether or no the iron should 
be put in the^oft grades, and an estimation of combined 
carbon will show whether or no it should be stated that 
this element ib above the average. 

The multiplication of grades may go on indefinitely 
according as the fancied needs of coDSumers inisrease in 
number. 



There was recently completed an agreement between 
tvlae chief producers of Alabama coke iron whereby cer- 
t^din uniform prices for standard grades were to be ob- 
served. It is a very good thing as far as it goes, but it 
cioes not go far enough, nor strike very heartily at the 
x*oot of the trouble. 

The main point is to secure uniform grading, and this 
<ian certainly not be gained merely by establishing uni- 
form prices. 

A local trade association could take the matter in hand, 
iDut a simpler and it seems to us a more satisfactory plan 
ould be for the companies that made the agreement as 
io prices to make a similar agreement as to grading, and 
lut a competent man in charge of it. The price depends 
^mipon the grading. It is not enough for the iron-masters 
^o meet and say what the names of the grades shall be, 
Tior to fix the price at which the grades thus named shall 
be sold. Unless there is af the same time an agreement 
as so what kind of iron shall be classed as No. 1 Soft, or 
No. 3 Foundry, the agreement as to uniform prices is of 
little use. It is sure to happen that permission to ask a 
special price for a special iron will be solicited, and un- 
less it ia known what this iron really is, what relation 
it bears to the grades whose prices are already fixed and 
agreed upon, how can there be any thing but confus- 
ion? One may say: '*! am makinj]r an iron, 
which to all ordinary grading^ would be pat in No. 
2 Foandry. But it oanl^a lesi thai 1.5) pe? oeis. 
of silicon and is therefore not a typical No. 2 Foundry 
and I wish to ask a special price for it," He has called 
in his chemist and knows that the iron is net No. 2 Foun- 
dry, although it closely respmbles it in granulation, color, 
fracture, and fac^3. He wishes to sell it on analysis, for 
this is really the gist of the whole mattt^r. 
By all means let thore be uniform prices, but if the 



iSft GEOLOGICAL 8<fft\^Br¥ OF ALABAMA. 

grading is not uniform what do the uniform prices 
amount to, aft^r all? They are simply grade-splitters, 
Sind will inevitably lead to more confusion than at pres- 
ent (exists, if they are not based on the chemical analysis 
of the irons. 

Some people are inclined to regard the chemical grad- 
ing of pig iron as a sort of Panj:indram, or Mysterious 
Monster, lying in wait for the unwary. But no chemist 
who understands the situation in Alabama can declare 
out and out for laboratory grading, as no ch-e mist can 
doubt that the present system is out of date, illogical, 
tod cumbersome. 

The purpose to which pig iron is put depends abso- 
liltely upon its composition ; the color, fracture, grjanu- 
lation, and face having nothing to do with it except in so 
for as they indicate the existence of certiiin ingredients, 
whose actual percentage can be determined only by the 
chemist. As regards grading the inferences to be drawn 
from data obtained on the iron yard are reliable only if 
confirmed by laboratory tests, and are to be accepted 
only when they are so confirmed. 

What changes are to be suggested? First the main- 
tenance of a chief grader, whose business it should be 
to regulate the grading under conditions imposed by the 
separate companies. Second, the establishment of a 
central laboratory devoted to piglrdn analyses. Third, 
the diminution of th6 number of grades and the substi- 
tution therefor of •hot more than six grades, differentia- 
ted by the content in eiilicon, and combined carbon, and 
posBibly sulphur. These six^ grades might be as follows : 



Silicon. Combined Carbon. Sulphur. 

Silvery Irons, 5 to Q * 0.10 to 0.30 0.01 to 0.04 

Soft Irons, 3 to 5 0.20 to 0.60 0.01 to 0.05^ 

foundry Irons, 2 to 3 0.30 to 0.90 0.01 to 0,07. 

Gray Forge, 1 to 2 0.40 tp 1.25 0.04 to 0.09 

Mottled, 0^6 to 1 0.50 to 1.80 0.06 to 0.11 

White, 0.1 to 0,6 1.00 to 2.50 0.08 to 0.30 

This scheme, or some modification of it in line with 
its general provisions \yould retain the present nomen- 
clature, and bring it into closer accord with laboratory 
results. It would do away with five grades, which are 
no more than side-grades at best, and would enable the 
grader to exercise better discretion in the yard. The 
rapidity and accuracy with which the estimation of sili- 
con, and combined carbon can now be made render it 
possible to have the results from the cast-house by the 
timethe iron is ready to break And pile. .The estima- 
tion of silicon now leaves very little to be desired, and 
while the estimation of combined carbon in pig iron is 
not so accurate as in steel it is sufiiciently so for. the 
purpose inrhand. If objection be made to such a rad- 
ical change much could be done to improve the present 
system without decreasing the number of grades, or in- 
terfering with the nomenclature. If a systematic record 
of the pigs sampled were kept it would be possible to 
control the grading within narrower limits than now 
maintain. 

The following plan is sugL;ested for use by graders. 
Have stout manila envelopes prepared, 3x6 inches in 
size. On the front have the fdlowing blank form 
printed, viz : 



189 



OtHottOtioAl Bvkvkit 01* Alabama. 



. * * . * .^ Company. 

Tons. Grade 

No Furnace. Division 

Made .189. . Sampled 189 . . 

(Mark out the word that does not apply.) 

Regular, ^ Fine. 
Granulation, > Medium. 

Irregular, ; Coarse. 

^ Smooth. 
Face, > Pitted. 

) Blistered. 

Chilled edge 

(Signed). ..^.. 



I J 



On the back of the envelope have the following blank 
form printed, viz : 



Charges 



Stone 



Burden . 

Hard Ore 

Soft Ore 

Brown Ore .... 
Limestone 
Dolomite . 

Coke 



Pounds. 



Total 



To be taken before each cast 



Time. 



Hevolutions of Engine 

Heat. 

PresBure. 




Average. 



Sucli Envelopes were prepared, after consultation with 
Mr. Brannon, and Mr. W. J. Sleep, manager of the 
American Pig Iron Storage Warrant Company in this 
(the Birmingham) district, and were used for a consid- 
erable period. They answered the purpose admirably, 
80 long as there was co- operation on the part of all the 
oflScials concerned. But while the chemist was glad to 
have the information, and while the grader found that 
it was just what he needed, in many case^ the samples 
were either not taken at all, or the blanks were not 
properly fiiied out. Orders sent out from the general 
oflBce were not obeyed and samples that should have 
been taken were utterly neglected. One of the annoy- 
ing things in connection with the study of Alabama pig 
Iron is the curit)us indifference of furnace managers to 
the collection of systematic information in regard to 
their product. Most of the companies Kfive their own 
laboratories, and the chemists are alive ^o the impor- 
tance of the subject. The cost of the collection of such 
information as is outlined in the blanks is merely nomi- 
nal. The grader fills out the blanks in regard to color, 
etc., when the samples are taken. It is done in less 
than five minutes. The additional information is ob- 
tained from the furnace office in five minutes more. 
But when the general office has sufficient interest in the 
matter to order that the blanks should be filled out the 
inexplicable indiff'erence of the furnace superintendents 
may block the matter. Whether it is they think they 
do not need the information, or whether they regard the 
request and the order as an unwarrantable interference 
with their own particular business, or both, is not. in 
evidence . 

Two of the best judges of iron in the State, Mr. Bran- 
non and Mr. Sleep, whose daily business brings them 
in dose contact with all kinds of iron, and upon whose 



184 GfiOLOOItiAt BtjS^tSt.. q^ ALA&lMA. 

• . ■ ' • 

judgment large suras of money deDend, are agreed that 
there is urgent need of more systematic information in 
the grading of iron. The composition of heretofore 
well recognized grades has changed, graders need to 
kno-w what these changes are and how they may be 
recognized, the laboratories are well equipped and the 
chemists anxious to assist in every possible way the 
progress and success of the business. Oqq of the chief 
oflBcials of a large company has said : ' 'For the enlai-ge? 
ment of the domestic market, the most desirable thing, 
to be done, in my. judgment, is to secure uniformity in 
grading and naming iron, and selling it upon terms of 
uniformity. * * * * * It is scarcely too much to 
say. that the whole question of grading iron is assuming 
a more complex conditio!^." .And yet. the same old 
absurd eonglQmeration continues, and graders are asked 
tp tell at a glace the chemical composition of eleven dif- 
ferent kinds of iron. Of course they can not do it, and 
they should not be expected to do it. . 

If any of these observations apply to the domestic 
market, apd in fact they all apply, with what greater 
forcft do they apply to the foreign market? 

Great eflForts have been made to secure a foothold for 
Alabama iron in England or the continent during the 
last two years, and a gratifying degree of success has 
been attained. Shipments on foreign orders for the 
year 1897 approximate 220,000 tons, and it is likely that 
the trade will grow, if the producers recognize the de- 
mands of the foreign consumers. Alabama iron going 
abroad has to compete, with standard brands such as 
Eglingtou, or Clarence, or Middlesbrough No. 3, whose 
uniform composition has enabled the consumer to know 
just what to expect. 

If he buys Np. 3 Foundry, Alabama make, he has a 
I'ight to expect that the silicon shall not be in excess of 



the. amount p esent in the standard brands. The for- 
eign market has grown up on pretty much the same 
foundation as the domestic market, viz., cheapness. In 
spite of irregularities of composition Alabama iron h^s 
been sold in this country because it wa^ made at a less 
cost and could be sold for less money than other iron. 
Lack of uniformity does not distinguish all the coke 
iron made^ in Alabama, for there are companies in the . 
State that are very careful in grading, but there has 
been and is now a good deal of complaint that our irons 
are irregular in composition. But this has not prer- 
vented the develppment of the pig iron industry, with 
domestic sales, and may not prevent the farther exten- 
sion of the foreign market. The cultivation of new - 
xjiarkets, especially those situated at a great distance 
^nd which have onlv recently been compelled to look to 
lis for some of their material, can be successfully under 
taken only by the exercise of the greatest care. A con 
sumer may for a time put up with what does not ex- 
actly suit him if he is buying it cheap. If for some 
reason, temporary or permanent, he finds his usual 
supply curtailed he must go elsewhere. The question 
of cost is, of course, the main one, but the requirements 
of his own market, i. e., for his own manufactured pro- 
ducts, must be consulted, and he cannot continue to buy 
a cheap article if he can not use it to advantage. With- 
in the limits of their own grades Alabama irons are 
known and appreciated in nearly all the States of the , 
XJnioh and in many foreign countries, and what is said 
liere is not to be taken as captious criticism, for nothing. 
could be further from the intention of the writer. 

But it has seemed to him that the changes which have 
Ibeen slowly creeping into the grading of iron should be 
Teoognized at their full value. The names of the grades 
do not mean what they once meant, the names have re- 



IM OilOtOGlCAi StkVfcY OJ'AtAfeAilA. 

mained, but the composition of the irons has changed. 
This is no secret. It is perfectly well known to those 
who have given the matter even cursory attention, and 
the only thing to do is to act upon the common know- 
ledge. A system which almost every day in the year 
forces the yard grader to class as Soft as iron which does 
not carry over 2 per cent, of silicon has had its day, and 
should give place to a system founded on the actual 
chemical composition of the iron. 

This is true no matter whether the iron is intended 
for home consumption or for the foreign market, but it 
is particularly true for those who wish to sell their iron 
abroad. 

CHAPTER VH. 

THE COST OF PRODUCING PIG IRON IN 

ALABAMA. 

In January, 1894, there appeared an article in the 
Engineering and Mining Journal, New York, that gave 
the cost of making pig iron in Alabama at $6.37. The 
items were as follows * 

TABLE XIX. 

li tons of coke @ $1.51 $1.89 

2 1-5 tons of ore @ 0.67 1.48 

f tons of stone® 0.65 0.50 

Labor 1 . 25 

Repairs . 50 

Supplies . 50 

Selling expenses . 25 

Total $6.37 



wdlftok. is? 

This article Was unsigned and the a^uthor is at. present 
unknown: The closeness with which he approximated 
the real cost will appear later. 

In June of the same year Mr. E 0. Pechin, formerly 
editor of the li'on Trade Review, Clevf^iand, Ohidj .pub- 
lished in the same Journal an article on the cost of 
making pig iron in Alabama, and expressed the opinion 
that it was then costing, at two plants, not above $6.50 
per ton, and possibly less. The author of the unsigned 
article and Mr. Pechin were both very near the truth. 
It is now proposed to discuss the matter at some length 
and to submit figures that may be relied upon as the 
Qost in detail of making pig iron in Alabama dliring 
' 1894, 1895, and 1896. What the cost was in 1897 is an- 
other matter and will not be entered upon at this time. 
My excuse for discussing the matter must be that an erro- 
meous opinion seems to be current in some quarters that 

m 

pig iron can be and is made here for less than $5 per ton. 
3t is possible that some iron has been made in the State 
- at a cost closely approximating $5, but it is not thought 
that so low a cost has been possible for any length of 
time. During the years 1894, 1895, and 1896 the low- 
est oost that I am conversant with was $5.71, and I do 
not think that any company has maintained, for any 
length of time, say several months or a year, a cost 
account lower than this. It may be that some furnaces 
ivith exceptional conditions as to the supply of raw mate- 
rials may approximate this amount by the year, and 
even, at times, have made iron at a less cost than 
%5.71. 

In the report made by Mr. Carroll D. Wright, United 
States Commissioner of Labor, in 1891, as to the cost of 
Xn,aking pig iron in this country, it is stated that, exclud- 
ing interest, depreciation of value of plant, and charges 
tor freight of product to places of free delivery, the low- 



1^ dfiOLOdtCAL BiikifttOP ALABAMA. 

e9t cost reaqlied ia any Southern State during- the year 
1889-90 wa^ $9.16, At that time this was the lowest 
cost reported in the eotire United States. 

The details of this cost were made up as follows. 
Materials : 

Ore..... II 96 

Limestone ....:. 324 

Coke.;. ." 4 243 



Total.. $6 527 

Other expenditures : . 

Labor. . $1 737 

OflBcials and clerks -0 156 

Supplies and repairs 703 

Taxes . 038- 



Total ; . 12 634 

Grand total. . . ... $9 161 

An Alabama furnace in operation during this period 
was making iron at the following cost,, arranging the 
items as above ; 

Materials : 

Ore ^ $2,587 

Limestone 0.397 

Cinder, scrap, etc 0.099 

Coke 4.471 



Total $7,554 



PIG IRON. 189 

Other expenditures : 

Labor.. $1,835 

Officials and clerks 0. 178 

Supplies and repairs 0.283 

Taxes... 031 

Total $2,327 

Grand total 9.88 

At a certain furnace plant in the State, producing in 
18*J0 abont 140,000 tons of pig iron, the cost was ias fol- 
lows : 

Material $H.a2 

Labor 1.86 

Sundries 0.83 ' 

Total $9.01 

The average cost of making iron in Alabama in 
1889-90 was about $9.50, although it must be said-that 
some furnaces made iron for about $9. 

During the period of 1890-1897 the cost of making 
iron was about $3 less than it was in 1890, and the low- 
est cost reached over any considerable period was about 
,$5.75, with a possibility that some furnaces were able to 
nctake it for about $5 .50 over a limited period. 

It is proposed, in the following pages, to give d^^tailed 
cost sheets of the production of a very large amount of 
pig iron, and then to discuss, briefly, the reasons for the 
reductions of coat within the last six or seven years. 



190 



GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA . 



COST OF MAKING PIG IRON IN ALABAMA 

1894, 1895, 1896. 

TABLE XX. 



Labor Account. 

1894. 
Cents. 

Oast-house 11 .7 

Cinder-yard 4.2 

Engines and boilers 4.4 

Furnace ofl5ce 2.8 

Iron-yard : 16.0 

Laboratory 0.9 

Lights 0.8 

Locomotives 9.9 

Salaries 3.3 

Sand 0.9 

Stables . 0.8 

Stock-houi?G 26.6 

Tracks 

Water.::. 1.2 

^JfJ^uJ. Cw .... •.••|. .-«••.. ..••.#. ••'•• 

I 

Total.. 83.5 



1895. If 
Cents. Ce 

19.3 : 

5.4 

8.0 

1.0 
17.2 ; 



08 
11.0 
2.6 
0.1 
0.8 
29.5 
2.0 
1.1 
1.0 






99.8 



TABLE XXI. 

1894, 
Cents . 

Oaet-house 5.6 

Cinder-yard 1.4 

Engines and boilers 3.1 

Furnace office 0.8 



1895. le 
Cents. Cei 

8.0 

1.7 

4.2 

0.8 



Iron-yard 

Laboratory . . . 

Lights 

Locomotives . . 

Sand , .. 

Stables 

Tracks 

Stock-house . . . 

Water 

Extra supplies 

• 

Total 



0.8 


0.8 


0.5 


0.2 


0.4 


0.5 


0.4 


0.6 


0.6 


11.0 


6.0 


6.8 


2.5 


0.3 


• « • • 


0.3 


0.4 


0.3 


1.0 


1.7 


1.4 


2.4 


2.4 


1.3 


1.1 


1.3 


2.0 


2.4 


2.3 


3.0 



32.9 



30.9 



31.4 



TABLE XXIL 

GURKEKT BePAIRS. 

Oast house 5.2 Current repairs 

CJinder-yard 1.4 for 1895 and 

Engines and boilers 4.8 1896 taken at 

Iron-yard 0.6 20 cents. 

Lof.oraotives 0.6 

Stock-house. 1.5 

Tracks... 2.0 

Water 1.0 

Extra. . . 1.40 

Total. , . . ,^ 18.5 

Putting these items together-with the others that ap- 
ply to the matter we have the following : 



TABLE XXIII. 

• » .\ 

AVBBAGB 008T OF PlO IbOTT IN 1894 1895 1896 

Ore... $1.86 $1,754 $1,716 

Limestone 0.16 0^240 0.138 

Coke 2.78 2.840 2.735 

Total for materiale $4,800 $4,834 $ 4>£f79 



192 GEOLOGICAL STTRVEY OP ALABAMA. 

Materials : $4,800 $4,834 $4.5: 

Labor. 0.835 0.998 0.91 

Supplies 0.328 0.302 81 

Current repairs 0.181 0.200 0.20* ' 

General expenses 0.077 0.070 0;09;- 

Relining 0.170 0.183 0.20^ 

Taxes 0.026 0.025 0.08P 

Insurance 003 0.005 0.003 

Bad debts 0.037 033 0.030 

Total $6,457 $6,660 $6.46e 

The lowest cost during 1894 was $5.71, the highest 
Was $7.81, and the average selling price of No. 2 Foun— 

dry iron was $7.28. The lowest cost duriag 1895 waf== 

$5.84, the highest $7.02, and the. average selling price ot 

Noi 2 F. was $7.15. The lowest cost during 1896 was 

$5.74, the highest $6.84, and the average selling price 

of No. 2 F. was $7.22. 

The percentage distribution of the various items oi 

cost is as follows : 

TABLE XXIV. 

1894. 1895. 1596. 

Per Cent. Per Cent. Per Gent. 

Ore 28.8 26.3 2'1.& 

Limestone •. . . . 2.5- 4.0 -. 2.0 

Coke 43.1. 42-.G. 42.3 

Materials 74.4 

Labor 12.9 

Supplies 5.2 

Current repairs ........ 2.8 

General expanses 1 .0 

llelining, . ; . 2.7 

Ta^BfiJ. . .* . 4 . 0.4 

Bad debts.. .. :. ...:.. . 0.0 



* w 



72.9 


70. » 


15.0 


15.0 


4.5 


4.8 


3.0 


3.2 


•'].o- 


1.2 


2.7 


3.2 


0.4 


1.2 


0.5 


0.5 


• •■ • ■ 





Total ............... 100 .00 \m .0 - ■ 1 00 .00 



The average cost of the raw materials during these 
three years was as follows-, per ton, stock-house de- 
livery : 

Hard Ore. Soft Ore. Brown Ore. Limestone. Coke. 

1894... 10.753 ^.566 $1.01 $0,605 $1,875 

1895... 675 0.535 1.09- 0.634 1.758 

1896... 0.672 0.572 1.07 0.647 1.727 

There was also used some mill cinder at an average 
cost, per ton, of 75 cents, and a little blue billy at an 
average cost par ton, of $1.71. But the proportion of 
these two materials was small, and the items may be 
neglected. We are now in a 'position to compare the 
costs of these years, one with another, so as to bo able 
to observe the course of the industry at a time when it 
is likely that the costs were as low as they will be for 
some time to come. Unless large expenditures are 
made for improvements it is likely that these costs will 
stand as the lowest for quite a while. 

The first thing that attracts our attention is the close 
agreement in the costs for the three years, the greatest 
difference being only 21 cents as between 1894 and 1895, 
while as between 1895 and 1896 there is a difference of 
only 1 cent, This close agreement may, in part, be due 
to»the system, of book-keeping employed, not, of course, 
with any intention of misleading but merely to harmo^ 
nize the costs of one year with those of another in a gen- 
eral way. For instance, take the years 1894 and 1895, 
where there was a practical identity of cost In 1896 the 
cost of raw materials was 24 cents less than 1 S94 while 
the labor costs were 13 cents more. The cost; in 1894 
vvJiich were in excess of those in 1896 are as follows : 



18 



J 94 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

Cents. 

Ore 14 

Stone 4 

Coke 5 

Supplies 1 

Total 24 

While those that were less in 1894 than in 1896 are as 
follows : 

Cents. 

Labor 13 

Repairs 2 

General Expenses 2 

Relining 3 

Taxes 5 

Total 25 

There is certainly a very' judicious balancing of ac — 
counts as between these two years that at the close of 
1896 it should be found that there was a diflFerence of 
but one cent. It leads to the supposition that arbitrary 
charges have been made, based, it may be, on the ex- 
perience at that particular plant but liable to excessive 
variations . 

The cheapness with which the raw materials are mined 
and delivered in the stock-house has conditioned the 
building up of the industry of iron making more than 
any other single circumstance, perhaps more than all 
other circumstances combined. It is this feature of the 
matter that has made progress possible, for the labor 
costs and other expenses are not as low as they are among 
the chief competitors of the State in the iron market. 
The furnace yield of iron from the ores, taking a general 
average, is 41 %, and it takes 2.47 tons of ore to make a 
ton of iron. Handicapped with such low grade ore it 



PIG IRON. 195 

1ia8 yet been possible to assemble this ore, with the lime- 
stone and coke, and make iron at an expense, for raw 
materials, of $4.57 over a period representing about L>0,- 
000 tons. This would not have been possible except for 
the topographical and geological features of the district.. 
If one inquires as to the future of the iron industry in 
the State he can be best answered not by referring to 
what has been done, but by judicious investigations into 
the possibilities of continued cheap raw materials. On 
the average the percent of the total cost of making iron 
in Alabama borne by the raw materials during the three 
years we have selected was 72 7. During the census 
year 1889-90 it was about 74%, so that there has been of 
x*ecent years a reduction in this most important item of 
H.3%, and as much as 4% if we take the year 18S*6 aa 
^he criterion. In labor costs there has been a percent- 
sige reduction of 5%, as the labor cost, 7 to 8 years ago, 
"was over 19 % of the total cost, while during the period 
1894 to and including 1896 it was 14.3%. The saving 
"in labor has been nearly four times as much as the sav- 
ing in raw materials. Realizing that. the great advant- 
age given by cheap raw materials was not the only fac- 
tor in maintaining a position in the iron market, the 
producers of iron in Alabama set themselves to reduce 
the cost of converting these materials into pig iron, and 
as the labor cost was and is the most important after 
the materials strenuous efforts were made to diminish it. 
It may be possible, by introducing mechanical appliances 
around the furnaces, not onlv in the stock-house but also 
in the cast-house, to bring down the labor cost by 
twenty-five cents per ton of iron, so that it would not 
exceed, let us say, 60 cents. But this implies the ex- 
penditure of large sums of money and more care in the 
preparation of the stock before it reaches the furnace. 
The advantage of cheap raw material, we must remena- 



196 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

ber, is one that is ^pt to create a fabe. sense of security^^ 
Relying too much upon what nature has done leads one 
to neglect doing what he should do. Thee too, cheap 
materials with an enormous drain upon them* all tlxe 
while^ putting nothing back while taking a vast deal 
out, after so long a time — and the time may not be so 
very long, after all — fail to respond to the demands* 
made upon them. Their inevitable tendency is to be- 
come dearer as they become scarcer. To counterbalance- 
this tendency there must be economies in other direc- 
tions, such for instance, as a more scientific and less 
wasteful system of mining, reductions in freight 
charges on raw materials, ownership and direct working- 
of the mines and quarries, and, particularly, improve-^ 
ments at the furnaces for handling stock and products. 
Whether or no we have already seen the cheapest pig 
iron in Alabama is a question for the future to decide. I 
do not propose to enter upon it at present except to say 
Ibsit there has been too much reliance placed upon the 
cheapness with which'materiak'have been assembled and 
a great deal too little upon improved methods. When:* 
cheap materials become dearer and no improvements^ 
have been made in other directions then the cost of mak- 
ing iron in Alabama will begin to increase, and many of 
the advantages she now enjoys will be lost. 

The constant drain that has been made upon tne so- 
called soft red ores, i. e. the ores that carry from 46 to 
48 per cent, of iron with less than 1 per cent of lime and 
that can be delivered in the stock-house for 55 cents per 
ton, has already made itself felt. There is very little of 
such ore now left within easy reach of Birmingham and 
the furnace practice is in a state of transition. From 
Ihis time on the ore mixture will be made up more large- 
ly of the limy ores and the brown ores (limonites.) 



PIG IRON, 197 

Ther« ai:^ seme if^rnaces of exoeptionaJ situatioii^ as tot 
instance at Ironaton and Sbedby tstad possibly ftt Shef^ 
field thM caa secui^ brown ore in trbe <stock-hoase for ^ 
to 80 cents per toa, but 4)hi8 is by no means th<e general 
*it«atiDn. The average oost of brown ore at the stock- 
^ouse is close to $1, if indeed it be not nearer to ^ i .10. 
With hard ore at TOoents and brown o^re at |1 a mix- 
ture of 20 per oeet brown affid ^0 per oent hai^ w<)tild 
^ost per ton of iron, $1.91, taking the iron in the hard 
ore at 37 per oen»t. and in the brown ore at 50 per cent* 
Th« aver.«^ge oost of the ore mixture, with varying pr«)- 
portions of hard, soft and brown ore^ during the years 
1894-96, was ^K77, a difference of 14 oents per xon 
aig^^inst the hard-brown mixture. 

This disadvanta^ Haay,of cou'Tse, be counterbalanced 
by using less limestone^ but it may well be that mo^e 
coke will have to be used, so that the difference is not 
likely to be le^ss than 14 cents per ton and m y be more. 
Bu-t the furnace practice, with progressive exclusion of 
the soft ore, has not been sufficiently extended as yet to 
^rmit a positive opinion, and the matter must awaiit 
fuliiher developments. 

The acquirement of limestone and dolomite quarries 
by the furnace companies and the direct workingof them, 
without royalties, or profits to the contractors^ has al- 
ready resulted in notable economies iti respf^t of fluxes. 

The development of the by-lproduot system of coking, 
with the result of giving cheaper cok , is wko a mosib 
pponnisiagoutcoiaae of recent mon^h^j in the Birmingliaiil 
district. 

In Connebtimi with tfoe blasft furnaces of the Tenir^^s*- 
see Coal, Iron -and Railway CoHiipany, at Ensley, near 
BiiwainghaYn , the Solviay Process Company is '^pectiiig 
l&G £emelt-SolvHy oVe^n-s, and elcpeet iro have tJtem in 
operation by the close of 1898. The ordinary bee- 



198 GEOLOOIGAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

hive coke is being improved, and we may, I 
think, expect that its quality will be still further insist- 
ed upon by those who buy in the open market. What 
ever the future may hold for the State in respect of the 
cost of making ir6n, one thing appears to be certain, viz. 
that the most rigid economies and the very best pVactice 
will be required to maintain as low a cost account as has 
been reached during the last few years. 

The development of the home market for pig iron^ 
while not a factor of its cost, is yet of no little import- 
ance as affecting the future of the industry. The capac- 
ity of the rolling mills now built in the State is 183,300 
tons per annum. For this amount must be eubstracted 
19,200 tons representing the capacity of mills which, in 
all likelihood, will not be in operation again. This 
leaves 164,100 tons as the total annual capacity of the 
mills that may be counted upon as consumers of pig iron. 
The pipe works making gas, water and soil pipe have a 
total annual capacity of 21,000 tons. If we allow 25,000 
tons a year for axles, mine and car wheels, and iron 
used in the construction of railroad cars, &c. &c., we 
shall have 210,100 tons as the total annual capacity of 
the mills, pipe works, &c. To this may be added 23,000 
tons as the annual capacity of the steel works now built. 
The grand total, therefore, is 233.000 tons per annum^ 
and represents the amount of pig iron that can be work- 
ed up in the establishments in the State. Bat it is not 
likely that the amount of domestic pig iron so used ia 
above 175,000 tons annually, or a little over 18 per cent.: 
of the annual production of pig iron, and I am inclined 
to take it at not over 15 per cent., or about 142,000 tons. 
In the State there are 7 rolling mills, 2 steel works, 2 
bridge works, 7 pipe works, 2 car axle works, and 4 car 
wheel works to use up nearly a million tons of pig iron. 
This statement does not include the foundries, but even 



PIG IRON. 199 

with these included the capacity for finished goods does 
not reach 20 per cent, of the production of crude iron. 

The ^tate needs more extensive and better equipped 
foundries, machine shops, and other establishments for 
using what is made at home. From the Birmingham 
district alone there were shipped in 1897 749,065 tons of 
pig iron. During the year 2 8,633 tons were exported, 
as against 65,000 tons in 1896. The State exported 1.6 
times as much pig iron as was used within her own bor- 
ders. The home consumption has not kept pace wi h 
the home production, and the developments of the last 
ten or fifteen years hnve been in the direction of crude 
iron and not in that of tiiiished goods. With respect to 
pig iron and i«s products the State is pretty much in the 
condition in which the Southern States were a few years 
ago with respect to coiton and cotton mills. There has 
been a great M\vak( n\ug with respect to cotton, why not 
with respect to \ ig iron? These two products, the one 
natural and ili- other m mufactiired, represent the crud- 
est of crude mat< ri i)s, for neither can bo utilized in the 
economic arts until i( is transformed into something else, 
the cotton into c tton g<»ud<, the pig iron into castings, 
wrought iron, uid st» el. Unless there is a great change 
in the consumpiion of pi^ iron we shall continue to be 
hewers of w«»0(l iiud clrMvvers of water for those whose in- 
tellicjence is no <2cri3arer bac whose f )resit'ht is keener than 
our own. 



\ 



mo GBOLOGICAL SU&VJSY OP ALABAMA. 



CHAPTEK Vin. 

ooMj ano€oal washing. 

According to Dr. Eugene A. SmitTi, State tSeologis 
the area of tlie several coal fields of the State is as fcB 
lows ; in square miles : 

Cahaba 400 

Coosa 150 

Warrior 7S00 

'Total «,350 

By far the greater amount of coal is mined in tha 
Warrior Field., the chief operations beiag in the coun- 
ties of Jefferson, Walker and Tuscaloosa, in the order 
of prominence. In Bibb co.unty the mines in ai>d 
around Blocton furnished last year (1897) 671,077 tons. 
Adding to this amount the 84.673 tons mined dn Shelby 
<jounty , w-e have a total of 755,850 tons to be credited to 
•the Cahaba fi-eld, or about 13 per cent, of the total pro- 
duction. The Coosa field produced 67,584 tons, or 
about 1 per cent, while the Warrior field produced 
5,024,031 tons^ or more than 85percenrt. of the total 
output. At present, and it may be for many years -to 
oome, the Warrior field is and will be the great source 
of the coal mined in the State. Its area is very much 
greater than that of the other two combmed, the coal is 
oertainly as good and the facilities for mining and trans- 
porting it are better than in tlie other fields. The best 
and largest seams of coking coal are in the Warrior 
field, bub for steam and domestic purposes the War- 
rior coals are no better than those from the Cahaba 
field. Some of the Coosa coals are also well adapted 



e%(LJk ^M» 'Q%A^ iRAtfmw.. sot 

i(^ coking, stesitLy 'snd xtonrastic vse^ iml tli^y tbwe V9t 
as yet come much into t&ai4c€(t. 

The following tables^ taken from tlie reiports of Mr. 
E. W. Parker, Statisticiian of the Department of the In- 
terior, will exhibit the cocif ition of ^e ooal industry in 
Alabama, during receo^^ years. 



202 



OKOLOQIOAL SURVBY OF iLLABAMA. 



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COAL AND COAL WASHING. 



203 



Blount county produced 40 tons in 1893 ; Etowah 906- 
in 1895, 3,080 in i896, and 3,1B8 tons in 1879 and Jack- 
son 6,011 in 1894. These returns are included in the 
totals. I 

The two following tables, also from Mr. Parker's re- 
port, show the average prices for Alabama coal, f . o. 
b. mines, by counties, since 1890, and the statistics of 
labor employed and working time. 

TABLE XXVI. 
Average Price For Alabama Coal, f. o. b. Mines. 



COUNTY. 


1890 


1891 


1892 


1893 


1894 


1895 


1896 


1887 


Bibb 


$ 1.10^ 1 17 


$ 1.08 


$ 1.00 


$ 1.00 


$ 1.00« 0.89 


1 0.93 


Slonnt 


1.00 
1.18 
2.50 

i.m 

1.00 


T- 


0.80 
87 
0.48 
1.73 
97 
0.90 


1.00 
0.89 
1.00 
1.75 
1.13 
0.85 


1.09 


Jefiferson 

St. Clair 

Shelby 

Tuscaloosa 

Walker 


1.04 
1.14 
2 60 
1.03 
1 03 


1.03 
1.10 
.2.61 
1.07 
1 02 


0.98 
1 08 
1.82>^ 
1.05 
98 


0.90 
0.96 
1.44 
1.06 
0.91 


0.88 
0.81 
1.50 
93 
0.79 


Gen average . . . 


1.03 


1.07 


1 06 


0.99 


9b 


90 


0.90 


0.88 



'.'.> ••<• 



tM OEOLOQTCAL SlrKVKf' Ot &U.BAMA. 



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Ibe number of mhieat reported in the coal producing 
eounties in 189ft and 1897 waa aa follows : 

TABLE XXVIII 

Giving the Number of Mines, in th« Coal Producing 

Counties, in 1896 and 1897. 





COUNTIES. 


Number of Mines. 




1896 


1897 


JfT'OO • 




5 
1 
1 
1 

32 
2 
5 
6 

26 
1 

80 


6 


Blount 


1 


Cullman 




Etowah 


1 


Jefferson 


> 40 


St. Clair 


2 


Shelby 


7 


Tuscaloosa .... 





6 


Walker 




23 


^WWuston 




2 


Total 


•.••*•••. •••■. ••• • 


86 



206 



GEOLOGICAL SUBVBT OF ALABAMA. 



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Tbe coal product of Wyosuftg u ]sS96 waiih 2^229;jRH 
tons, valued at $2,904,1851. The ayerage: pima per ton 
was $1.30; average number of days^ active 209; average 
number of employees 2,949 ; number of mines 28. 

The coal product of Georgia, in Ui^ was 238, 54& 
tons, valued at $168,050. The average price per ton was 
$0.70; average number of days active 303; average 
number of employees 713, including 360 State convicts ; 
number of mines 2. 

The production and value of the coal mined in the 
United States, in 1897, is given by Mr. Parker, as fol- 
lows . 



COAL AND COAL WASHIKO. 



309 







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OBOLOOICAL 8URVET OF AL1.BAU1.. 



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CCAL AND COAL WASHING. 211 

According to the report of Mr. James D. Hillhouse, 
State Mine Inspector, the following' was the output of 
coal in Alabama in 1896, by counties and by classifica- 
tion, as also of coke, and the number of coke ovens. 



dbiOLOQIOAL SCRTBY OF ALABAMA. 



5& 



§2 



||§,|S|p.|| 



■ S E I- S — S 



COAL AND GOAL WASHING. tV^ 

The total number of mines was 80. The 70 mines report- 
ig in the State in 1896 worked 14,814 days, an average of 
*11.6 days per mine. The highest number of days re- 
corded was 312 in Jefferson County, and the lowest 42 
^n St. Clair County. Five (71 per cent.,) mines 
forked more than 300 days, 19 (27.1 per cent.) 
forked between 260 and 300 days, 23 (33 per 
«ent.) .worked between 200 and 260 days, 14 (20 
<»nt.) worked between 160 and 200 days, 5 (7.1 
^er cent.) worked between 100 and 150 days, while 4 
{5.7 pep cent.) worked lesi thai 100 days. The 
number of days worked, by counties, as given in the 
above table, is obtained by dividing the total num- 
ber of days reported from each county by the total num- 
ber of mines making the returns. It is not altogether 
fair to the mines working a considerable number of days 
to group them with mines working irregularly, or with 
«mall mines. Thus, by the table, Blount County has to 
its credit 273 days, but produced only 32,760 tons, while 
Jefferson County, producing 3,729,719 tons has 238 
days to its credit. Perhaps a better insight into the 
business would be gained by dividing the total amount 
of coal credited to each county by the number of days 
Worked. 

Proceeding in this manner we have the following table, 
^ving the amount of coal produced per day in the va- 
Tipus counties during the year 1896. 

TABLE XXXTI. 

Giving the amount of coal mined per working day 
per county in 1896 : 



214 GEOLOGICAL BUBVBY OF ALABAMA . 

» . . . • • > '. ..•>..' . • . * * 

Tons. 

Bibb. 3,025 

Plount. ... ..! 120 

Etowah . . . • 13 

JeflFersou 15,671 

St. Clair. \.,,, 211 

Shelby. ....../.:........ 35S 

Tuscaloosa. 929 

Walker. .. ,\ ; , 5,382 

Winston 13 

Total. . . ! 25,722 

. Dividing these figures, in turn, by the number of 
mines reported will give a general average of the ton- 
nage output per day per miner per county in 1896. 



» 



TABLE XXXIII. 

I • * . ■ ■ .. . . ' 

Giving a general average of the tonnage per day per 
miner per county in 1896. 

Bibb. 3.56 

Blount 3.00 

Etowah 1.00 

JeflFerson .........:.. 4.14 

St. Glair 2.24 

Shelby 1.66 

Tuscaloosa 2.25 

Walker '. . 4.02 

Winston 0.30 

Working the 8 ft. seam at the Blue Greek Mines, Jef- 
ferson, Go., 504 miners working 275 days produced, in 



COAL AND COAL WASHING . 2 16 

• • • 

1^, 662,295 tons of coal, an average of 4.77 tons per 
day per miner. 

On the 4 ft. seam at Pratt mines, JeflFerson County, 
338 miners secured 354,084 tons in 270 days, an average 
of 3.88 tons per day per miner. 

On the thinner seams in the northern part of JeflFer- 
son Co., averagiag 2i ft., 273 men secured 93,348 toa* 
in 196 days, an average of 1.74 tons per clay per miner. 
The amount of coal obtained per day per miner does 
Hot, altogether depend upon the thickness of the seam. 
Tixere are other circumstances as well , for instance the 
qtJiLality of the coal itself, its surroundings as regards 
es^se of mining, whether it has to be blasted down, or 
<5^ii be under cut and wedged down, etc., etc. It does 
^^ot follow because of the thickness of the seam that the 
^'^^^iners make better wages, for the thicker the seam, 
O'fclier things being equal, the less is the rate paid per 
^oxx for mining. 

'According to the report of Mr. James D. Hillhouse, 
St^te Mine Inspector, the following was the output of 
^oaLl and coke, and the number of coke ovens in Alabama 
■*^ 3.897, by counties aad by classificatioa. . . 

TABLE XXXIV. 

• 

<3iving the output of coal, and coke, and the number 
^^ coke ovens in 1897, by counties and by classification ; 
^^^0 the number of days worked. 

The total number of men employed was 7,743 miners ; 
-^ -> 570 inside day men, and 1,088 outside day men, a 
^^=^tal of 11,101, as against a total of 9,894 in 1896, and 
^ >766 in 1895. 

The total number of mines was 86. 



OBOLOOIOAL SUBTBT OT ALABAMA. 



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Is 






COAL AKD COAL WABHIKG. 217 

The 80 mines reporting in the State in 1897 worked 
17,727 days, an average of 221.6 days per mine. 

The highest number of days recorded was 312, in 
Jefferson county, and the lowest was 41, in Walker 
county. 

Of the 80 mines reporting 7 (—8.8 per cent.) worked 
300 days and over; 22 (—27.5 per cent.) worked be- 
tween 250 and 300 days ; 27 (=35 per cent.) worked 
between 200 and 250 days ; 15 (—18.7 per cent.) worked 

between 150 and 200 days: 7 (—8.8 per cent.) worked 
between 100 and 150 days; while 2 (—1.2 per cent.) 
worked less than 100 days. 

la 1897 the number of days worked was 2,913 more 
than in 189S, and the amount of coal mined was 148,- 

154 tons more than in 1896. 

The following table gives the amount of coal mined 
per day in each county during 1897 : 

TABLE XXXVI. 

Tons. 

Bibb 3,305 

Blount 131 

Etowah . 16 

Jefferson 16,361 

St. Clair 2o7 

Shelby 386 

Tuscaloosa 945 

Walker 5,240 

Winston county did not report number of days worked. 

The amount of coal mined in each county, per day, 
per miner in 1897 was as follows : 

Bibb 3.34 

Blount 2.80 

Etowah 0.80 

Jefferson 3.47 

St. Clair 2.28 

Shelby 1.82 

Tuscaloosa 2.94 

Walker 4.10 . 



*^yj 



axj *.• , 



COAL ,WASHING. 

The washing of coal preparatory to the manufacture 
ojf coke i8 well established in the State. Very nearly 
one-half of the coal turned into coke is previously 
washed. The washing is confined mostly to the slack 
coal, i. 6. the coal passing a screen of liinch to If inch 
meahj or space between bars. 

The following table gives the name of the washers^ 
location, and daily capacity. At the close of 1897 the 
Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railway Company was also 
erecting two 400-ton Robinson-Ramsay washers, one at 
slope 4, and the other at slope 5, Pratt mines. 

TABLE XXXVII. 



Coal Washing Plants — 1897. 



Name of Washer, 



Location . 



Daily 

Capacity. 

Tons. 



Operated By 



Campbell 

Kobinson-Ramsay 



ti 



Stein 
Stein 



Total 



Jasper, Walker Co 

Blossburg, Jefferson Co. 

Blue Creek, Jefferson (3o 
Pratt Mines, Jefferson 

Co 

Coa'l^urg, Jefferson Co. 
Brookside, Jefferson Co. 
Blossburg, Jeflterson Co. 
Birmingham, Jefferson 

Co 

Horse Creek, Walker Co 

Bessemer, Jefferson Co . 

Brookwood, Tuscalooia 
Co 

Lewisburg, Jefferson Co 




Elliot & Car- 

rington. 
Tenu. C , I. <fe 

R'y Co. 



({ 



({ 



Sloss I & S. Co> 



(( 



(( 



Ivy C. & C. Co. 

Howard ■ Harri- 
son Iron Co. 

Standard Coal 
& Coke Co. 

Jefferson Coal 
<fe Coke Co . 

5,800 7 Companies. 



12 Washers. 

Coal Washing. 

As coal washing in the State is entirely incidental to 
the production of blast furnace and foundry coke, it 



, COAL WASHING. 219 

aight be best to include the remarks on this subject in 
he chapter on Fuel. But the importance of it wari:ant8 
eparate treatment, if, indeed, merely a short one. The 
To^wth of the industry has been very rapid. While it is 
rue that in 1890 123,189 tons of slack coal were washed, 
et, in 1891 the amount fell to 8,570 tons. It seems to 
lave begun regularly in 1892, for since that time the 
amount of slack washed has steadily increased. 

In some establishments, e. g., at Brookwood, and at 
L<ewisburg, the lump coal is hand-picked, on long picker- 
)elts. In all the establishments now washing coal only 
ihe slack is washed. 

While the industry is of very recent date, so far as 
large and continuous operations are concerned, yet it 
was begun in the State in 1875-76 at Oxmoor. A Stutz 
washer was used there on Helena coal, but the records 
cannot now be secured. It is of interest also to note 
that modified Belgian coke ovens were used "there at that 
time. Both the washer and the ovens have been torn 
down these many years. For most of the coking coals 
here washing is not necessary, except for the slack. It 
vas to utilize this that washing was undertaken, as oth- 
•rwise the slack was of little value. A large amount of 
\in of mines coal is made into coke^ but the use of 
p-ashed slack is steadily encroaching upon this, and re- 
ently another large plant has entered upon the business. 
Ve may expect that the fuiure will show an increasing 
proportion of coke made from washed slack, as the de- 
nand for the better grades of domestic and steam coal 
vill make the use of slack more and more necessary. 

It is difficult to state exactly the amount of slack 
ihrough a If-inch screen yielded by coal mining opera- 
Dions. So much depends upon the nature of the coal 
itself, and that of the seam, as also upon the system of 
mining, screening, etc., that only general statements can 



220 GEOLOGICAL SUBVKT OF ALABAMA* 

be made. It varies from 35 per cent, to 65 per cent, of 
tbe output. A coal washing plant for handling 600 tout 
of slack per day of twelve hours will require the mining 
of not less than 800 tons of coal, and may require 1,400 
Ions . 

A table showing the character of the coal made into 
coke in this State is given below . It is taken from the 
returns made to the Division of Mineral Resources, Uni- 
ted States Geological Survey : 



COAL WASHING. 



221 



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222 ' GEOLOGICAL SUBVBY OF ALABAMA. 

In 1891y of the 2,144,277 tons of coal made into coke 
only 0.4 per cent, was washed slack, i, e,, of every 100 
tons of coal sent to the ovens less than one-half a ton 
was washed slack. In 1893 there was fifty times as 
much washed slack used for coke as in 1891, and in 
1895 more than 140 times as much as in 1891. There 
was a remarkable increase as between 1892 and 1893, 
viz.: from 4.3 per cent, to 21.1 per c^nt., as also be- 
tween 1893 and 1894, viz.: from 21.1 per cent, to 43.1. 
From 1894 on the increase in the use of washed slack 
has not been so marked as in the previous years. 

The use of washed slack enables the mine owners to 
avail themselves of what would otherwise be of little 
value, and to make a better coke of this material than 
is made of run of mines coal. 

Results of washing slack coal from the Pratt seam. 
Amount represented about 5,000 tons. 



COAL WASHING. 





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224 OBOLOOICAL BURYST OF ALABAMA. 

Disregarding the changes in the volatile matter and 
fixed carbon as not affecting the efficiency of the wash- 
ing ^s much as the reduction of the ash and the sulphur, 
some important deductions may be derived from an ex- 
amination of these tables. The Robinson washer does 
not size its materials ; everything through a If inch 
screen, for instance, goes direct to the washer, and no 
attempt at sizing is made. The above sizes of coal were 
obtained by using hand-screens, but they were not sent 

to the washer by separate sizes. Of the material going 
into the washer — 

* 

37 per cent, passed a 3^ inch screen. 

but was retained by a 3^ in. screen 
** ** J^in. " 



16 




it 


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14 


10 




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i* 



** Kin. 

%in. 
•* lin. " 



Calculating the average ash from the ash in each 
separate size we find it to be 11.90 per cent. This was 
the ash in the slack going into the washer. Of the ma- 
terial coming from the washer, excluding the refuse 
slate, sludge, etc. — 

28 per cent, passed a % inch screen. 



21 






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Calculating the average as before we find it to be 
7.47 per cent., and the reduction of the ash is 37.23 per 
cent. That is, this slack lost 37.23 per cent, of its ash 
by being washed, a result somewhat lower than is ob- 
tained by considering the slack as a whole without re*- 



COAL WASIIKQ. 



225 



gard to the ash in the separate sizes. Using the same 
method for calculating the sulphur in the unwashed 
•lack we find it to be 1.65 per cent., and in the washed 
slack 1.35 per cent. The sulphur, therefore, was reduced 
by 18.18 per cent. 

In other words 100 parts of ash in the unwashed 
slack become 62.77 parts in the washed slack, and 100 
parts of sulphur in the unwashed slack become 81.82 
parts in the washed slack. 






16 



226 



OBOLOOICAL SORTBY OF ALABAMA. 







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COAL WASHING. 227 



« • 



The analysis of the sludge, corresponding to these .re- 
sults, was — 

Per cent. 

^ Volatile matter 24.73 

Fixed carbon 44.14 

Ash 31.13 

100.00 

Sulphur 4.12 

TT'he purest coal that could be picked out, by hand, 
f x-ora the coal here in discussion, had the following com- 
position : 

Per cent. 

Volatile matter 33.00 

Fixed carbon fi4.60 

Ash 2.40 

100.00 
Sulphur 1.25 

Iri washing operations it is, however, impracticable, 
^*^CDt impossible, to obtain coal of this degree of purity. 

^^^ing to loss of coal, there is a point beyond which it is 
^^t^Tacticable, to reduce the ash. This point varies 

^^Xi each coal, and to some extent also with the purpose 

■"^ ^which the washed coal is intended. In this State 
X^T- dhe slack coal is washed, and praciically all the 

^^ ^hed slack is made into coke. 



J-everting to the statement already made that all 

'^ lie material through a l:i-inch screea is called slack,. 

. ^^^t- is senb to the Robiason-Ramsey washer without 

-^^ t;her sizing, the question is : to what point shall the ash 

'^he washed coal be brought in order that the washing 



y be considered satisfactory? 
*^here are three elements entering into this question: 
3. The amount of ash in the original slack. 



128 GBOLOQiejiL StTRYEY OF ALABAMA. 

2. The waste of coal in the operation. 

8. The demand of the furnaces for a superior coke. 

The maximum amount of ash to be left in the washecf 
slack depends to a great extent upon the demands of the^ 
blast furnaces and foundries for coke, for if the demand 
is active and prices good the waste in the washing is not 
of so much importance. It is always important^ and 
should be carefully looked after, but there are time» 
when its importance is greater than at others. Consider- 
ing all the elements entering into the question, the 
amount of ash to be left in the washed slack, whatever 
it may be, is to be termed "fixed" ash, and the diflfer- 
ence between this and the total ash in the unwashed 
slack is removable ash. For instance, if the ash in the 
unwashed slack is 11.90 per cent., and the ash in the 
washed slack is 7.47 per cent., we may regard this lat- 
ter as the fixed ash, and 4.43 per cent, is the removable 
ash . But in this particular case the reduction of the ash 
from 11.90 percent, to 7.47 per cent, was not as good 
work as should have been done . With coal of this nature 
the :ish should be reduced to 6.75 per cent, instead of 
7.47 per cent., for the coke should not carry over 10 per 
eent. of ash. 

The best results with this particular coal were to re- 
duce the average ash by 43 per cent., and the sulphur by 
26 per cent. , taking the records over considerable periods. 
The four following analyses represent about the best prac- 
tice on the large scale, using unwashed slack, and the^ 
Kobinson-Ramsay washer. For convenience of compar- 
ison the average composition of the unwashed slack i^ 
also given : 



COAL WASHING. 229 

UNWASHED SLACK — DRY. 

Per cent. 
Volatile matter 30.06 

Fixed Carbon 58.04 

Ash 11.90 

100.00 
Sulphur 2.40 

WASHED SLACK DRY. 

1 2 3 

Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Volatile matter.. . 32.43 32.46 32.55 

Fixed carbon 60.91 60.86 60.64 

Ash 6.66 6.68 6.81 

100.00 100.00 100.00 

Sulphur 1.91 1.89 1.93 

The reduction of the ash was 43.5 per cent., and o' 
3 sulphur 20.4 per cent. The yield of 48-hour coke, 
er a H-inch fork, from this washed slack was 58.78 
r cent., or from 5 tons of coal 2.94 tons of coke. 
There may be instances in which the Robinson- Ramsay 
isher, on coal of the kind herein described, has done, 
rhaps, somewhat better work than this, but- it is not 
ought that under average conditions the results are any 
tter than these. 



280 



OBOLOOICAL 8UBVEY OF ALABAMA . 







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COAL WASHING. 231 

i The Rpbinspn-Ramsay washer does very well on slack in 

hich there is little or no bone coal, aad where the dif- 

nee between the specific gravity of the coal and the 

late is considerable. For instance, the average specific 

ravity of the refuse slate, as from the above tables, is 

.71, the highest being 2.21 in the material through i-- 

and left on i-inch screen, the lowest being 1.42 in 

material through i-inch screen. The snecific gravity 

<Dt the pure slate, without intermixture of coal, may be» 

'ftaken at 2.40, but there is very little such material in 

-fihe unwashed slack, for the refuse slate of highest spe 

cific gravity, 2.21, had with it 4 per cent, of coal which 

carried 8.9 per cent of ash. 

In washing coal it is not so much a question of remov- 
ing the pure slate from pure coal, because this can al- 
ways be done, as of separating slate-carrying coal from 
coal of a greater or less degree of purity. The question 
as to what is coal, is not general, but special, and has to 
be answered in the light of each individual case. With 
the coal under discussion, and with this washer, the 
'Writer is inclined to think that material above 1.35 sp. 
gr. cannot well be considered coal, for the lowest ash in 
coal recovered from refuse slate by a solution of this 
specific gravity was 8.70 per cent. Perhaps the limit 
should not be above 1.30. Taking it at 1.30, and the 
specific gravity of the refuse slate, with coal attached to 
it, at 1.71, the difference in specific gravity is 0.41. 

With this difference, and with this particular coal, this 
washer may be depended upon to handle a large amount 
of slack every day, and to do this work very well. But 
it is not designed to treat coal in which the specific 
gravity of the impurities, such as bone coal, etc., ap- 
proaches that of the coal itself. 

Possibly if the slack were properly sized, and each size 
sent to its own washer, better results could be obtained, 



232 OEOLOOICAL SUBYKY OFALABAHA. 

What was said to be the Luhrig system was introduced, 
into the Birmingham district in 1890-91 , but the machines 
were neither properly constructed nor properly managed, t 
and the washing operations soon came to nothing. It Is 
much to be regretted that this was the case, for whexi. 
the Luhrig system is designed after a study of the co» 
itself, there is no better coal washing system. In Alfi^- 
bama, however, only two systems are in use, on a larg^ 
scale, the Robinson-Ramsay and the Stein. The Camp- 
bell tables have been introduced to work some of th© 
Walker county coals, and have given fair results. Until 
the fall of 1897 the Standard Coal & Coke Co., Brook- 
wood, Tuscaloosa county, Alabama, was the only estab- 
lishment using the Stein washer, but the Jefferson Coa.1 
& Railway Co. , Lewisbiirg, Jefferson county, has recen fcly 
had built, under the personal direcion of Mr. Stein him- 
self, a very complete washing plant of a capacity of 40 
tons an hour. At Brookwood the Stein washer hasgir^^ 
excellent re-^ults. It is to be regretted that no detail ^^ 
investigations of the wjishiDg operations there are ^a-^' 
cessible. In the proceedings of the Alabama Industrl ^*' 
and Scientific Society. Volume VI., Part I., Mr. F. ^^ * 
Jackson said in regard to 

THE STEIN washer: 

"It has enabl» d the Standard Coal ('ompany to pr 
duce a coke of uniform quality and of extraordina 
structure, the average analysis of which invariably ru 
below 10 per cent, of ash and 1 per cent of sulphu 
The analysis for the last six months shows the avera 
ash to be 8.80 per cent., and sulphur 0.74 per cent^ 
whereas the coke formerly carried as much as 18 pe 
cent., and never under 13 to J5 per cent., with sulphu 
1.50 per cent, to 1.75 per cf nt. The loss in washing i 
from 6i per cent, to 9 per cent, of the weight of the slacks 
and the loss in coal is never over 3^ per cent. undeiT 






COAL WSAHING. 23S 

ordinary conditions, and often is as low as 2 per cent." 
JVIr. Jackson refers to Mr. John Fulton's book on coke 
iowr further information in regard to the Stein washer at 
Brook wood. From this authority we learn that it was 
th^ first of its kind erected in the United States, having 
bee^n built in 1890, and has a daily capacity (10 hours) 
•of 600 tons. The following analyses, taken from Ful- 
ton. , show the reduction in ash : 



Unwashed 


— Ash 

Washed 


\ 


Per Ct, of re- 
duction of ash 


Coal. 


Coal. 


Coke. 


in 


coal. 


15 . 32 


8.15 


10 10 




46 9 


14.10 


7 50 


9.50 




46 9 


15 07 


6.50 






5C.8 


20.83 


8.10 


10.50 




61.3 


17.18 


7.60 


10.50 




55.5 


IH. 8 


6.50 


9.27 




60.2 


20.90 


5 . 50 


• • • 




73 5 


17.37 


5.40 






69.0 


l*s.63 


7 15 


• • • • 




61 7 


21.12 


4.81 


6.10 




77.5 



--Average. . . 17 60 6 72 9 . 33 60 . 93 

his is certainly an excellent record. So far as con- 

<5<^i'ns the making of coke from this coal the information 

^'*^ J^aiisfactory, hut in.Msmuch as tlie Stein system is 

b^vs^tnl on the sizing of the coal bt^fore it g(»es to the jig^, 

It ^w-ouid have been more complete had the efficiency of 

tli?^ washing as referred to each size been given. We 

^^'-i^t, therefore, in the absence of specific data infer 

txut,; these results are averaged from the separate results, 

^^'^^^^ vet the variation in the effiriencv of the washing 

tOf|,i(|j^ this assumption, for the removal of the ash va- 

^u-s from 46.9 per cent, to 77.5 percent. The Robinson- 

J^?irnsay washer, on some coals, removes from certain 

^^^^•s- as high as 72.65 per ceiit. of the ash, but does not 

^©ac'h anything like so high a result, considering all the 

'^^''^l that goes into it. One maybe permitted to doubt 

^Ue results at Brookwood represent all the sizes of 

^^^l. For instance, a certain coal had 21.12 percent.' 



^34 GEOLOGICAL 8U|IVB Y OF .ALABAMA . 

of ash before washing and 4.81 per cent, after washing, 
a reduction, of the ash of 77.ft per cent., and the ash iii 
the coke was 6.10 per cent. But one would like to know 
what size this was, and what proportion this particular 
size bore, in weight, to the total amount of slack sent 
to the jigs. Looked at from the standpoint of actual 
results, certainly these figures leave but little to be de- 
sired, and this, after all, is the main consideration. To 
remove 77.5 per cent, of ash from coal carrying 21.12 
per cent, is certainly good work, but one cannot refrain 
from asking why this result was not reached with coal 
of 14.10 per cent, ash? If 77.5 per cent, of ash were 
removed from this kind of coal the resulting coal would 
carry only 3.18 per cent., instead of 7 50 per cent., 
which it did carry under a removal of 46.9 per cent. 

Two facts standout prominently from these analyses,, 
viz.: the best results were from the dirtiest coal, and 
that from a coal practically useless for coke-making 
there was obtained a coal that makes excellent coke. 

There are two points of view in coal washing opera^ 
tions — practical and scientific —and to some it might 
appear that if the practical results are satisfactory the 
scientific aspect of the matter may be left to take care 
of itself. But it will generally be found that the best 
practical results are reached by the aid of the best scien- 
tific information, and that there is a very real and a very^ 
vital connection between good practice and good theory.. 
A careful study of what is going on very often leads to- 
improvements ; and from an examination of what is 
done we come to a decision as to what should he done^ 

At the Florida meeting of the American Institute 
Mining Engineers, 1895, Mr. J. J. Ormsbee had a paper 
entitled *'Notes on a Southern Coal-Washing Plant.'' 
The analyses and tables in that paper were made by 
myself, but it is not necessary to repeat them here, aa^ 



COAL WASHING. 235 






le foregoing analyses and tables were made (also by 

flyself) in 1896, and show all that is required in a dis- 

;ussion of this kind. Almost the whole of Mr. Orms- 

dee's paper is taken up by material which was furnished 

by myself. 

In 1890, when this State was visited by the British 
and German iron-masters Mv. Jeremiah Head, of Eng- 
land, was in the Birmingham district, and again in 
1894, with his son, Mr. A. P. Head. In 1897 the elder 
Mr. Head published in the Transactions of The Feder- 
ated Institution of Mining Engineers, Newcastle- 
"Upon-Tyne, the results of his observations in the prin- 
cipal coal districts of the Southern States. What was 
said in regard to Alabama is reproduced here. The 
analyses he quoted are omitted, for the reason that' those 
already given in these pages are suflBcient to enable one 
to judge of the quality of the coal and coke in the State. 
Mr. Head's long familiarity with such matters, his. 
Openness of mind, and frank way of speaking render 
his remarks extremely interesting and important. His 
inference that the labor troubles of 1894 were in any 
Mrise connected with the employment of negroes in the 
mines is a mistake. It was not a question of negro 
Xabor but of the recognition of the Labor Unions. The 
^flfort was made to prevent not only the negroes but 
iion-union white miners as well from working at the 
"wages offered. 

Mr. Head's remarks are as follows : 

Birmingham District, — We now come to the important 
coal-fields in the State of Alabama, of which the city of 
Birmingham is the focus, and to which, to a great ex- 
tent it owes its existence ; as also does the neighbouring 



230 OBOLOQICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

city of Bessemer, and several others. The princi 
Alabama coal-fields are : — 

Square Miles 
Warrior, estimated to extend over.. . 7,800 
Cahaba *' *' ... 400 

Coosa ** ** ... 345 



Total 8,545 

These coal- fields diff'er essentially from those already 
described, in that they do not exist as a succession of 
flat beds in mountains at a considerable elevation above 
the sea ; but as a series of parallel elliptical synclinal 
basins below the ground-level, with their outcrops rising 
to it all around. The Forest of Dean coal-field is of the 
same nature, and in South Wales there are coal deposits 
of both kinds. The general str ke of these coal basins 
is from northeast to southwest. The dip is naturally 
greatest at the outcrop, then gradually lessens and dis- 
appears ; and finally rises in the same way on the op- 
posite side. 

The Warrior coal-field contains no less than fifty 
seams, of which twenty-five are thought to be workable, 
but only thn*e are actually worked. The thickness of 
the coal in these varies from 3 to 14 feet. 

The Cahaba deposit contains twenty coal-seams, of 
which three, from 2 to 6 feet in thickness, are worktd. 

The loral production of the Alabama coal-field was : — 

In 1870 . 11,000 tons. 

In 1880 3i0,00 '* 

In 1886 1,800,000 '' 

In 1889 2,903,350 •' 

Since 1890, the coal and iron trades have been suflfer- 
ing from a terrible depression, from whi^i they are only 
just recovering, and therefore recent statistics do not in- 
dicate the productive powers of the district. 



f 



COAL WASHING. 237 

I 

The Alabama coal is mostly of a coking quality. In 

, there were 4,647 coke orens built, and 270 under 

xistruction ; but, by the end of 1891 the number had 

oreased to 6,000. With the exception of 64 Thomas 

te-ovens, all the ovens are of the ordinary beehive 

"type — lOi to 12 feet in diameter, and 5 to 7 feet high in- 

Bx<de. The charge is usually 5 tons of small coal, which 

produces 3 tons of coke. 

In the principal, or Great Warrior, coal-field there are 
numerous mines, for the most part with coke-burning 
plants attached. The following are typical ones — viz., 
Sine Creek, Pratt, Adger, Blocton, and Johns mines. 

Average analyses of the coal of the Warrior coal-field, 
^i^d. of the coke made from, washed and unwashed coal, 
^"'"^ given below : — 

Cottl. Coke. 






From unwashed Coal. From washed Coal, 
■^^^^d carbon 61.51 87.02 90.48 

1 «tile matter. . . 31.48 1.02 1.11 

5.42 10.12 7 50 

X)hur 0.92 1.77 0.83 

asture 0.67 0.07 0.08 

""^ith one exception, these mines are all worked from 

outcrop, the winding shafts being at such an angle 

"th the horizon as will admit of entrance and egress 

foot. The tubs are hauled in and out by engines and 

re ropes running on rollers. There are three entries 

the Blue Creek mine, which are together capable of 

elding 2500 tons of coal per day. 

The one exception referred to is the Pratt mine, whick 

a shaft 200 feet deep, worked by a winding engine 

^^ad head-gear in the usual way. Pumping is effected 

^ a force-pump below , driven by air compressed at the 

Xarface. This mine alone produced over a million tons 

^cf coal in 1889, 





s 



Vr'^ .■: -Tf •:.' ; :. . : 

238 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 



•f 



Under the Jiy stem of working prevalent in tlie A:\8f- 
bama, districts, galleries are driven off the main slope st^^ 
intervals of*300 feet. ^ The intervening body of cos^l 
\s worked out by driving stalls 40 feet wide, and 60 fea"<^ 
from centre to centre, for a distance of about 275 feefc* 
This leaves a pillar of 20 feet between the stalls, which- 
is worked back to the heading, as soon as the stalls are 
finished. In this wav all the coal is taken out between 
the galleries, leaving pillars to protect the entries. 
When the galleries have been driven about 3,000 feet 
even these pillars are removed. By this means not more 
than 5 per cent, of the available coal is lost. Ventila- 
tion is usually effected with ,one continuous current, but 
sometimes a split-current is adopted. In that case a 
Guibal fan is placed at the air shaft, on each side of the 
main haulage slope, so that each side is independent of 
the other, and each gallery takes its supply of fresh air 
direct from the main-slope. The hewing is generally 
done by hand ; but at the time of the writer's visit J3 
Harrison pick machines were in use; they are able to 
undercut to a depth of 4i feet along 90 feet of face, with 
one attendant per shift. 

At the time of the writer's first visit to Alabama, in 
1890, the coal-slack was nowhere submitted to a wash- 
ing-process before being charged into the coke-ovens. 
The disadvantages arising from the comparatively poor 
calorific vnlp(? of the resulting coke was felt to be a seri- 
ous drawl). ick to the development of the iron trade. 
Consequently great attention was given to coal-washing 
plant, and it was not long before the Robinson and Ram-" 
say coal-washer was introduced and adapted to Ameri- 
can requireiijents. The writer believed that all coke- 
now used at Alai)ania blast-furnaces was produced from 
washed coal slack. The benelicial results were shown 
in the comparative analyses which he had given, and 



COAL WASHING. 



is» 



&ad contributed materially to make possible the extra*- 
Drdinary development which was at present in progress 
in the Southern pig iron trade. At the Pratt rnines 
3oking-plant, flues, built in the walls between the Overis; 
and communicating with them, draw off a portion of the 
grists and convey them to the boilers, where they are 
burnt. It was claimed that no less than 375 tons of coal 
l^er week was saved by this arrangement. 

If we take the area of the three principal Alabama 
coal-fields, at the estimate already given, viz., 8,545 
square miles, which is equivalent to 5,468,800 acres, 
and reckon the workable coal at 8 feet 4 inches thick in 
the aggregate ; and as yielding 100 tons per inch per 
acre, we shall find that the total quantity of coal is 
54,688,000,000 tons, which consumed at the rate of the 
present total production of Great Britain (viz., 180 mil- 
lion tons per annum) fixed the duration of the Alabama 
3oal-field at 303 vears. 

At the time of the writer's last vis^it to Alabama, viz., 
in the autumn of 1S94, the price of coke delivered at 
tho blast furnaces was about 6s. 9d. per 2240 pounds, 
or half the current price in England. Negro labor is 
nQainly einploytrd, the latitude being about the same as 
that of }.Iorocco, and the climate being, therefore, almost 
tropical, the population requires less food and protection 
than in colder regions. Great efforts were made in the 
spring of 1804 by the leaders of the local trades unions to 
force the negroes into their organization. When they 
found that impossible, they endeavored to frighten them 
out of the trade. Several were shot, others maltreated, 
and for a time mine-managers weat about armed with re- 
volvers. By aid, however, of a loyal militia, headed 
by a capable and courageous governor, the trade union- 
ists were eventually beaten ; and thencefort|i the south, 
having the benefit of cheap negro labor, has been able 



140 GBOLO<!tICAL SURVEY OF A.LABAMA. 

to compete advantageously in all parts of the Unitei 
States. 

The distance from Birmingham to the Gulf ports is 
258 miles to Pensacola, and 276 miles to Mobile. The 
railway rate to the former port, including shipping 
charges, is 4s. 6d. per ton, or say 0.20d. per ton per 
mile. This rate enables coal-producers to put coal free- 
on-board at these ports, for, say, 8s. per ton, or as low 
as bunker coal at the northeastern ports of Great Brit- 
ain. The railway facilities enjoyed by the Americans 
are in striking contrast with their absence here, British 
heavy products having to pay from three to five times- 
the above rates per ton per mile. 

It is not, however, in direct coal exportation that 
British producers need fear American competition. It 
is more in heavy goods, such as pig-iron, steel rails, and 
billets, which absorb in their manufacture from li to 2^- 
tiraes their own weight in fuel. In the case of such ex- 
ports, only one railway and sea freight is paid on all 
material used in producing 1 ton of product carried . . 
Such goods, are also practically undamageable, and are^ 
not much affected by delays of transit ; and being use 
ful as ballast they are taken at low sea-freights along 
with cotton cargoes. Alabama pig iron so favored, i& 
already arriving in considerable quantities in European 
markets ; and for the time being at all events, coals , or 
♦he products into the manufacture of which they enter 
are being literally "carried to Newcastle," or right into 
several of the coal-producing districts of Europe. 

Calorific Power of Coal. 

The subject of the calorific power of Alabama coals 
l^nd cokes Has not received the attention its importance 
demands. It is very rarely that any interest is mani- 
fested in the matter. 



f 



COAL WASHING. 241 

So far as is known, Prof. 0. H. Landreth.of Vander- 
bilt University, Nashville, Tenn., was the first to make 
tests of the heating value of Alabama coals. This he 
did in the spring of 1885, and the following table, taken 
fTom Mineral Resources of the United States, 1886, p. 2H9, 
embodies his results. 



16 



242 



GBOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA 



OQ 




> 

X 
X 
X 

Eh 



a 
•i-t 






r- O O 1^ ■?! -^ CD <M 



O 
Q 



13 



C0CD»ir5C^4Ot^r-i 






Pt^ 



In 

o 



J4 
Pi 

CO oa OS 

S« SiJ C^ 9- 



JT Sh ♦* t* ♦» 



COAL WASHlfJG. 



243 



During the last few years, as opportunity offered, the 
The writer has made uUimate aaalyses, and cil trifle 
"tcSts of some of the principal coals of the State. The 
calories were determined by the use of Lewis Thomp- 
son's calorimeter,and the British Thermal Units from 
the calories. 

This form of calorimeter is not adapted to scienti- 
fic investigations, but is used, quite commonly, in 
England for appreximate results. The figure obtained 
are offered as the best to be had, under the circum- 
stances, and are subject to correction. 

It is much to be regretted that no one has taken the 
trouble to look into this matter. Perhaps those who 
xvere inclined to do so were circumstanced as the 
>?vriter has been, and those who had both the time and 
tilie meais felt no concern whatever as to the matter. 
XLt, has not been so long since the manager of a coal com- 
pany denied that his coal had any carbon in it at all, 
or any other impurity. With this as an exponent of 
X>ublic interest one may readilv believe that very few 
liave the temerity to discuss the maUer. 



GEOLOGICAL SITRVBY OF ALABAMA. 



B,nOB(JtUO((J. 



■uaao.iplH 


SSSSS2SSSS5 




■iruorauiy 


SSSSSS£g?EEfe 




•jnmling 


Sg:?g-2SS?2SS 


■IIBV 


1006 
9.05 

5.70 
,• 01 
8.90 
7.80 
li 96 
5.79 
5.92 
6 67 
8.46 


■uaSojjtji 


§£3SSSSS2gS 




■uaSixo 


SSSSSg3?iSSa 


■uaSoapifi 


!S5H¥3S«S5SS 


*^^-*.mw«jwio*-t. 



N : ; : ■ : Ms 






» s S&&a 



COAL y^Asmjio. 24B 

Poole's excellent work " The Calorific Power of 
8," Wiley & Sons, N. Y., 1898), are given many 
an. cLXjses of American and foreign coals, wiih data as to 
thL^ix calories and BritisTh Thermal Units. 

'or purposes of comparison a few of the Pennsyl- 
ia and West Virginia coals are here given, taken 
Poole. 



OB0LOGIC1.L BDBVBY OF ALABAMA. 




LOW GRADE ORBS, 247 




CHAPTER 1X7 

THE CONCENTRATION OF LOW-GRADE ORES. 

As was stated in chapter 1. two processes for concen- 
xating the low grade ores of the State have been tried 
m a large scale. The experiments, for the most part, 
vere confined to the soft, or lime-free, red ores, and to 
ihe 'hard', or limy ores. They were based on Wo dif- 
ferent principles, first the artificial magnetization of the 
3f the ore, and subsequent separation over a special 
machine, and second the treatment of the ore, merely 
iried and crushed, in a saturated magnetic field, this 
process not requiring that the ore should be magnetic. 

CONCENTRATION OF THE LOW-GRADE SOFT RED ORB. 

The writer prepared for the meeting of the American 
Institute of Mining Engineers in Atlanta, October, 1895, 
a description of the experiments which he carried on 
with the magnetizing process. It was thought at the 
time that the results were very encouraging, but on ex- 
perimenting with the Wetherill Concentrating Process 
during the following year it was found that it was not 
necessary to render the ore magnetic. It could be and 
was concentrated magnetically without beings .at all 
magnetic in the ordinary acceptation of the term. 

But in order to contribute to the study of the Alabama 
ores, the red fossil ore in particular an abstract of the 
Atlanta paper is here given, and the results from the 
Wetherill machines also. 

CONCENTRATION BY MAGNETIZING. 

The deposit of red fossiliferous ore (Clinton) attains 
its maximum thickness in the immediate vicinity of 



248 GEOLOGICAL SURTEY OF AtAfeAiiA . 

Birmingham, where the Eureka seam (now termed Ish 
kooda) is from 18 to 24 feet thick. The upper p)rtioii 
of this seam, near the outcrop, is what we term soft ore 
inasmuch as the lime has been removed by leaching- 
Under cover the ore becomes hard and the amount or 
lime it carries varies from 12 to 25 p'>rcent. In mining 
the soft ore it is customary to remove the over-burden 
and to take the ore from open cut, the tracks beiag a? 
different levels to facilitate the handling. The over- 
burden varies in thickness from a few feet to 40 feet 
and is stripped on the dip for distances varying from 5C 
to 300 feet from the crop. • The dip of the seam increas 
es as one goes towards the southwest, the average being 
close to 20 degrees. In the early years of iron-making 
in the district it was customary to remove from 15 to 2C 
feet of the ore and to send it all to the furnace, but ol 
late the mining has been restricted to 10 or 12 feot anc 
there has been left in the ground from 8 to 10 feet oi 
ore. This lower portion of the seam is now considered 
too low in iron and too high in silica to permit its pro- 
fitable use in the furnace. It carries about 40 per cent 
of iron and about 35 per cent, of silica, the silici in- 
creasing with the vertical depth below the mining mark 
Not less than 500,000 tons of this low-grade ore is now 
stripped, the upper 10 or 12 feet of workable ore having 
been removed and sent to the furnaces. Nothing re 
mains now but to shift the tracks and to mine the lower 
portion also, thus making the entire thickness of the 
seam available for the furnace. With the exception oi 
the Irondale seam, 5 feet thick and carrying about 5S 
per cent, of iron, at no point on the mountain can the 
entire seam be rained for furnace purposes unless the 
lower portions be subjected to some process of concen- 
tration. The Irondale seam is distinct from the big, oi 
Ishkooda seam ; it carries from 6 to 8 per cen,t. more oi 



tow G^Dfi ORES. 24§ 

iron, also more alumina, and can be profitably mined 
from wall to wall. This, however, is not the case with 
the Ishkooda seam. Ic is not likoly that, on the aver- 
age, more than one^half of it can be used now for the 
manufacture of iron, and unless the remaining portion 
can be concentrated, it is practically of no use whatever. 
The stripping that has been done is chargeable to the 
ore mined and sold, so that the lower portion of the 
seam can be mined at a very slight expense. It can be 
loaded into the railroad-cars and laid down in anv stock 
house in the vicinity of Birmingham for 40 cents per 
ton. This statement applies to such ore as has been 
already stripped, and from which the upper portion has 
been removed for use in the furnace, leaving the ques- 
tion of tracks and loading-appliances already provided 
for. It applies, therefore, to what may be considered a 
limited amount of ore, and it is so in a certain sense 
and as compared with the enormous deposit of such low- 
grade material along the mountain. A concentrating- 
plant taking 500 tons of ore per day and working stead- 
ily 365 days in the year would require nea ly 3 years to 
use up what is now ready for mining ; and when we 
consider that the mining of the upper portion is going 
on all the while, thus increasing the amount of the low- 
grade ore left, it is not likely that such a plant would be 
able to use the uncovered portion in five years, if the 
removal of the better ore should cease on the first day 
of October, 1895. So much for the Ishkooda opening ; 
but there are several other mines along the mountain, 
within 2 and 3 miles of Ishkooda, that exhibit the same 
conditions, and I feel warranted in saying that the 
available supply of 25-cent. ore will not fall much short 
of 1,000,000 tons. 

When one considers the immense amount of low- 
grade ore that has not been touched, from Grace's Gap 



250 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

to Gate City, a distance of 9 miles, one can not fail to l>^ 
satisfied that for many years to come the supply of o*:^^ 
for a concentrating-plant will be ample. With a fa^^ 
knowledge of the subject and from $n acquaintance '""^^ 





several years with the ore-situation in the Birmingha 
district, I have no hesitation in saying that a conce 
trating-plant of the capacity mentioned above, woul 
not experience any serious difficulty in obtaining low 
grade ores suitable for concentration and at a price tha 
would leave a fair profit, for twenty years. 

Crushing the Ore. 

The size of the ore most suitable for magnetization ii 
that of a hen's egg, WitH such pieces the magnetiza- 
tion is through even to the center, and when the prope] 
heat has been used there is no sign of louping, or incip- 
ient fusion. The ore is of a deep velvety black color 
At times the grains of sand are somewhat whitened bul 
for the most part they are coated with a film one o 
black magnetic oxide. The grains of sand are rounded — — 
in the original ore, and in the magnetized ore they are 
of the same physical nature. If the heat be too high, 
the sand adheres closely to the, ore, incipient fusion 
having set in, and the subsequent separation is not so- 
good. We have frequently magnetized pieces of ore 
as large as a cocoanut uniformly to the center ; but 
there is danger is using ore of this size ; for when the 
interior is at a suitable temperature the exterior is apt 
to be too hot, and there may arise more or less tendency^ 
towards louping, We have found the most suitable 
heat is a full red and it is difficult to maintain a large 
piece of ore throughout at this temperature. The ex- 
terior may just right while the interoir of the'lump will 
not be red-hot, and when broken will still be unreduced^ 



LOW GRADE ORiSS . 251 

It has often happened that a large lump showed a mag- 
aetized coating on the outside extending a third or a 
half of the distance to the center. This coating would 
be of a dull black color, while the center would still 
show the original red color of the ore. I have examined 
a* very large number of pieces from the kiln under vary- 
ing conditions of work, but have not yet seen a piece 
fchtat was magnetic at the center and n on-magnetic on the 
outside. 

It was our practice to charge the kiln with pieces as 
nearly uniform in size as possible, so that the gas cur- 
^^uts should meet with about the same resistance as 
they traverse the space between the combustion-chamber 
^nd. the draft-flues. 

To this end we charged the lumps uninxied with fine 
^I'e , the cabs being loaded with forks. A certain amount 
^^ fine ore is necessarily made in the kiln itself by the 
ctiori of the ore against itself and against the walls of 
e kiln. This cannot be prevented. The Que ore is as 
netic as the lump, but no more so ; and there would 
ot be any serious objection to its presence in the kiln 
it not back up into the gas-ports and obstruct the 
^ular flow of gas across and through the lamp-ore. It 
noteworthy that there has been no louping of the fine 

, this being confined entirely to the lumps. 

"We used 3 tons of coal per day of 24 hours, so that we 

^^-ad^ome 390,000 feet of gas for 110 tons of ore, or 3,545 

^^et per ton. This amount of gas would heat the ore to 

^ full redness and magnetize it. From four to six hours 

^f ter starting the fires in the producer, the gas can be 

ignited all around the kiln at the several igniting doors. 

-Analyses of the gas from the moment at which it will 

ignite until it is of a bright orange-red ccJor, and is at 

Its best, are herewith given. The samples were drawn 

WDQ the producer immediately in front of the pipe con- 



iti QtiotOGtCAL SUnVBY OF ALABAMA. 

veying the gas into the kiln, care being taken that t^ 
air was drawn into the sampler. They were analyze 
at once for carbonic acid, oxygen, carbonic oxide ac:J 
hydrogen, acetylene not being determined, nor mar^ 
gas, although this latter compound exists in produce 
gas to the amount of some 3 per cent. Acetr^ 
lene seldom occurs in producer -gas beyond 
few tenths of one per cent., and may be ne ^ 
lected. As to marsh gas, it does not seem probata 
that this gas, in and for itself, can be used to magnetic 
ore, as the reactions that occur when it is passed OV'* 
red-hot ore, no other gas being present, are theoretical ' 
not such as would lead to a magnetization of the ore. 
am unable to speak with confidence on this point, ho^ 
ever, as it is a matter of great difficulty to prepare tlu 
gas in a state of purity. The ordinary reactions t 
which it is prepared from sodium acetate yield a gs 
which is seriously contaminated with hydrogen, rende* 
ing it useless for magnetizing experiments, as thehydr 
gen is itself a powerful reducing agent, and the magnet: 
oxide produced by passing marsh-gas from this sourc 
over ore woula be due to the hydrogen primarily. Tt 
question of the effect of pure marsh-gas on red-hot ore : 
one of scientific rather than of practical moment, as th 
producer-gas usually employed contains it only to th 
maximum extent of some 3 per cent. 

It can, of course, be prepared pure from zinc methyl 
but none of this substance could be procured from dea 
ers in this country, and the question has been droppe 
for the present. 

# 

The eff'ective agents in magnetizing ore are carbon: 
oxide and hydrogen and if the producer is operate 
under the test conditions there will be enough of theii 
to do the work. 

The average content of carbonic oxide while magne 



LOW GRADE ORES. 



253 



izing was 25 per cent.; of hydrogen, 13 per cent. ; of 
carbonic acid, 6 p^r cent. ; and of oxygen, 0.40 per cent. 

MAGNETIZATION AND CONCENTRATION OF IRON-ORE. 

TA.BLE XL. 

Analyses of the Producer- Gas Used, 



Carbon- 
ic Acid. 


Oxygen. 


Cai'bon- 
ic Oxide 


Hydro- 
gen. 


Remarks. 


14.00 


None. 


8.46 


5.93 


Bed 4 inches ; color dark gray ; 1 hour 
after starting fire. 


13.20 


None. 


6.00 


« 

5.60 


Bed 6 inches ; color dark gray ; 2 hours 
after starting fire. 


5.00 


0.40 


30.80 


12.90 


Bed 2}4 feet ; color grayish-red ; burns 
well. 


6.80 


0.40 


25.10 


11.90 


Bed 3 feet ; color orange-yellow , ex- 
lent gas. 


8.00 


None 


24.09 


13.84 


Bed 4 feet ; color orange-red ; good gas 


4.30 


1.83 


22.18 


12.63 




6.00 


0.60 


25.40 


14.60 


• 


9.00 


0.40 


21.40 


10.05 


Average. 



The analyses of the was,te gases showed that all the 
carbonic oxide and the hydrogen were consumed in the 
kiln. 

After the gas been burning all around for 10 hours, 
the di charging of the kiln can begin. It will be under- 
Stood that the first 10 or 15 tons, lying at the bottom of 
the 'kiln and thus beyond the limit of the heat, are not 



254 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

changed at all and must be sent back as raw ore. Tlx^ 
happens only when the kiln is started, for, after this po^ 
tion of ore has boen removrd so as to give place to o:^ 
that has been sufficiently heated and magnetized, all c: 
the ore coming to the sliutes has traversed the zone c: 
highly-heated gas and has been exposed to its influence 
As the ore is withdrawn from the sliutes fresh ore m 
charged into the kiln, and the operation is continuous 
When the ore comes down to the shutes red-hot, the cue 
rent of gas is changed,' and instead of passing into th_ 
combustion-chamber, it is passed into the magnetizing 
chamber, from which it passes over the ore unmixe* 
with air and therefore capable of reducing the ferrL 
oxide in the ore into the m igneoic oxide. In experiment: 
ing with the kiln, we found that even when thegas-valv" 
leading into the combustion-chamber was closed and th^ 
valve leading into the magnetizing chamber openeS 
there was still too much air going into the kiln, and w 
luted the shute-doors with clay. It was extremely difir 
cult to prevent the gas from burning in the ore and thuJ 
wasting its reducing power ; but by constant attentioi 
and keeping the shute-doors well luted, we succeeded i« 
preventing this to a great extent. The reducing-ga 
was passed over the ore for an hour, when one or tw" 
shutes were opened and a cab of ore withdrawn. It w£l 
at a full red heat when drawn, and was spread out oi 
the ground to cool. It retained its heat for severa- 
hours, but when finally cool enough to handle was of s 
dull black color, and when coarsely powdered, highl; 
magnetic. The temperature of the kiln, as measured bj 
an Uehling-Steinbart pneumatic pyrometer of the latest 
construction, varied from 900 deg. to 1350 deg. Fahr. 
the average being 1100 deg. 

One of the most trying difficulties we experienced wa 
in getting the ore down to the shutes thoroughly am 



LOW GRADE ORES- 255 

uniformly magnetized. Sometimes the greater part' of 
a cab would be well magnetized while a portion of it 
taken from the same shute at the same time would not 
be magnetic at all. This was found to be due to the 
fact that it had not been exposed to the gas for a suffi- 
cient length of time. As proof of this, I took some of 
the gas that was going into the kiln and some of the 
non-magnetized ore from a cab, heated the ore to a full 
redness in a glass tube and passed the gas over it. It 
became magnetic in a few moments. After this, we 
^'llowed the gas to pass over the ore for a longer time, 
and. found that when the shutes were well luted and the 
air excluded, we obtained better results. One thing was 
proved to our entire satisfaction, viz., that when the ore 
'^^as exposed for a sufficient length of time at a full red 
t^eat to a current of producer-gas, it became highly mag- 
netic, and that this effect was to a considerable extent 
independent of the size of the lumps. The difficulty 
already alluded to, the tendency of the larger lumps to 
"■^oiip, was hard to overcome. The outside of these pieces 
^^^ould be ihagnetic while the interior would not be 
^hanged at all, or at best would exhibit very feeble mag- 
^n^tism. 

^ow and then a lump as large as a cocoa-nut would 

^c>ine down in a very satisfactory condition, but on 

"^-tif^ whole it was found desirable to exclude these large 

-^-^^xips from the kiln and to use ore that was of the size 

^f a hen's egg. Another serious difficulty was in the 

^i^regular manner in which the ore came down to the 

dilutes. In a kiln of this construction it is very difficult 

tio get a uniform heat all round. At times the kiln 

"^^ouid be hot enough on one side, too hot on another 

^nd too cool somewhere else. When it became too hot 

^11 one side there was nothing to do but to draw ore 

'rotn the shutes on that side and let the ore descend until 



256 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

the normal heat was restored. This naturally disturbed 
the course of the operation elsewhere in the kilns, an 
had a tendency towards allowing insufficiently-magnet^ 
ized ore to come down to the shutes and in a measure tt 
occupy a space outside of the area of magnetization 
When the operation was proceeding satisfactorily, w( 
got from the kiln 1 10 tons of ore per day of 24 hours 
and worked in this way for several weeks. A part ol 
the ore was magnetic, and a part was not. It was -ae 
culled for separation. The separating machine could J 
not treat half the ore that was magnetized every day ; Z 
and the remainder was sent direct to the furnace without ^^ 
separation. 

Concentration of the Magnetized Ore. ' 

This was effected over a Hoffman separator, at first, 
and afterwards over a Payne machine, which proved to 
be an excellent separator. The magnetized ore was first 
sent to a No. 3. 

Gates crusher, screened over a revolving- screen of 8 
meshes per linear inch, the heads from the screen going 
into a pair of rolls and thence into the conveyor with 
the tails from the screen, and so on to the bin above the 
separator. Between the end of the conveyor and the 
bin there was another screen of quarter-mesh size to re- 
move the small lumps that jumped the rolls or passed 
down between the ends of the rolls and the housing. 
All the material going to the separator passed this screen 
and nearly all passed a screen of 8 meshes per linear 
inch . 

The fineness of this material is given in the following 
table. 



LOW QRADE ORES. 



257 



TABLE XLI. 



Fineness of Material Going to the Separator, 



Per cent. 

3.00 

Through 8-** " and on lO-mesh 6.50 



Left on 8-mesh screen 



" 10- and 


on 20- 


" 20- 


* 30- 


'* • 30- 


* 40- 


'* 40- 


* 50- 


** 50- 


' 60- 


** 60- 


* 70- 


*' 70- 


* 80- 


** 70- 


* 100- 


*• lOO-mest 


i 



<l 



iC 



n 



(( 



(C 



(( 



<( 



31.50 
6.50^ 
9.50 
2.50 
3.50 
None.. 
3.50 

5.oa 



This represents the average fineness of the material 
sent to the separator during the course of the experi- 
ments, as several determinations were made from time 
"to time. 

It was not found practicable to run the separator at a 
greater speed than would give about 700 pounds of head& 
per hour, as we had difficulty in disposing of our tail- 
ings in greater quantity than this, owing to the confined 
space in which we had to work. The separation was 
attended by a good deal of dust until we regulated the 
feed to this point, and even then it was far from pleas- 
ant. Special care has been taken of this in the plans 
for the alteration of the plant ; and we shall remove the 
dust by means of an air-blast. The average content of 
iron in the ore sent to the separator was 45 per cent, and 
of silica 30 per cent The average content of iron in 
the heads was 58.86 per cent, and of silica 11.51 per 
cent. ; in the middlings 51.12 per cent, of iron and 21 
per cent, of silica. 

At the very start we found that some portions of the 

ore were more highly magnetic than others, and that 
17 



258 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

the less magnetic material manifested a strong tendenc 
to go into the tails and not into the middlings. In othei 
words, the tails contained magnetic ore that should have 
gone either into the heads or at any rate into the mid 
dlings. Adjustment of the machine and changes of th»- 
amperage enabled us to correct this to some extent ; b 
we did not succeed in doing away with it entirely, an 
throughout the entire course of the work we we 
troubled with incomplete separation. R'^passing th — 
tails over the machine always resulted in obtainin__ 
more heads and middlings th-^iu in the first pass, and w 
finally concluded that it was practically impossible t 
get even tolerable tails by one pass. To this conclusion 
it seems that all have come who have tried magoeti < 
separation, even of highly magneiic natural magnetite ^ 
viz., that it is in all cases advisable to use two machines 
or, better still, two drums, and to pas* the middlings 
and tails from the first to the second, increasing it may 
be the amperage on the second machine or drum, and, 
perhaps, also regrinding the material from the first ma- 
chine before sending it to the second. As by far the 
greater part of the expense in the magnetic separation 
of ore is incurred before the ore is sent to the separator, 
the additional expense of sending it to another machine, 
even should it be reground, is comparatively slight. It 
may be of interest to some to know the distribution of 
the iron and the silica in the heads according to the 
fineness. I give, therefore, in the following table some 
analyses covering this point. Numerous analyses have 
been made to show just where the best ore was, and if 
finer grinding would enable us to improve the quality 
of the heads. From these I select the following : 



LOW GRADE ORBS. 

TABLE XLII. 



259 



Analysis of Heads According to Fineness, 

Original Ore: Insoluble. 28 per cent. ; Iron, 44 per cent. 

Percent. Insoluble. Iron. 



on S-mesh screen 

Through Jfc» qa lO-mesh screen 
10- " 20- 



(( 



ti 



(( 



«<r 



<( 



4( 



il 



II 



u 



4( 



20- ** 

30^ '' 

40- "• 

50- " 

60- " 

70- ** 

70- ** 



30- 
40- 
50- 
60- 
70- 
80- 
100- 



it 



it 



(I 



•i 



it 



<i 



it 



100-mesh 
Average 



3.00 


12.76 


63.20 


6.50 


12.50 


62.70 


28.50 


13.00 


61.30 


31.50 


13.40 


60.00 


6.50 


13.70 


80.30 


9.50 


15.40 


58.25 


2.50 


13.90 


60.80 


3.50 


14.00 


60.70 


[None. 
3.50 


14.70 


• • • • 

60.00 


5.00 


16.10 


57.00 



13.94 



60.42 



It might be inferred from these analyses that the 
amount of iron decreased with the fineness ; but that 
this is not always tV.e case will be apparent from the 
following analyses representing the heads at another 
period of the work : 

TABLE XLIII. 

Analysis of Heads According to Fineness. 

Original Ore: Insoluble, 32 per cent. ; Iron, 40 percent. 

Per cent. Insoluble. IrcHi. 

Left on IC-mesh screen 

Through 10- on 20-mesh 18.30 



u 



i( 



n 



{( 



(( 



it 



n 



«t 



20- 




30- 


30- 




40- 


40- 




50- 


50- 




60- 


60- 




70- 


70- 




80- 


70- 




100- 



lOO-mesh. 
Average 



2.90 


12.65 


59.15 


18.30 


12.58 


59.00 


21.70 


12.72 


59.25 


10.00 


12.65 


59.20 


10.00 


12.40 


59.48 


13.30 


11.05 


61.73 


8.50 


11.08 


61.80 


None. 






10.00 


11.45 


61.40 


5.30 


10.80 


62.00 



11.98 



60.33 



260 GEOLOGICAL SURVSY OF ALABAMA.. 

There does not seem to be any fixed rule as to th, ^ 
matter ; sometimes the percentage of iron increases wit^ 
the fineness and sometimes it does not. It may t^ 
chargeable to the nature of the ore, if easily pulverized 
or not, the degree of magnetism in the ore (about whicl? 
very little is known, whether the ore be natural or arti- 
ficial magnetite) ; the intensity of the current ; the speecS 
of the machine ; or a combination of these causes. 

So far, nothing has been said as to the removal 08 
phosphorus. This element is present in the ore to about 
0.30 per cent., but it is not removed in the separation. 
It seems to be present as phosphate of lime, entirely 
amorphous, and most intimately mixed with the iron. 
We have not been able to remove it, or even to diminish 
it to. any considerable extent. No matter how finely the 
ore is ground , the heads still carry more phosphorus 
than is allowed in Bessemer ore. It can be entirely re- 
moved by chemical means, and brought from 0.30 to 
0.008 per cent, at one operation. It has been found that 
dilute sulphuric acid will dissolve out the phosphorus 
from the heads without affecting the content of iron se- 
riously, and in this manner heads carrying from 58 per 
cent, to 60 per cent, of iron and 0.008 per cent, of phos- 
phorus have been prepared. 

A word now as to the cost of carrying out this process on 
scale, let us say, of 100 tons of raw ore per day of twenty- 
four hours. We will assume that the plant is erected 
on the mountain in immediate proximity to the ore, and 
that the gravity system is employed for conveying the 
ore from the mine to the kiln and from the kiln through 
the various operations until the concentrates are loaded 
on the cars. 

We will allow, also that it requires 3 tons of raw ote to 
1 ton of concentrates carrying 55 per cent, of iron, and 
that the yield of such concentrates from one kiln is 27 



LOW GRADE ORES. 261 

tons per day of 24 hours. In other words, we allow that 
from a kiln holding 100 tons of raw ore we obtain daily 
-81 tons of magnetized ore fit for separation. The cost 
^f producing 1 ton of concentrates of 55 per cent, iron 
^ill be about as follows : 

3 tons of raw ore, at 25 cents, $0.75 

Crushing, including labor, 05 

Discharging kiln. 06 

Crushing, rolling and screening, 0.05 

Separating and disposing of tailings 0.05 

Superintendence* 0.04 

J^ight foreman . 02 

Engineers, . 04 

3 tons of coal for producer, at ^1.25, 04 

5 tons of coal for boilers, 0.04 

Oil, supplies, etc., 01 

$1.15 

These are the estimates that have been made from our 
experience with the process at Bessemer, where we had 
~^o work under unfavorable conditions, and wh-^re the 
-cost per ton of 55 per cent, concentrates was 40 cents 
higher than the above figures. If we are able to in- 
crease the percentage of iron in the concentrates, as we 
expect to do, 'he cost per ton will be lessened accord- 
ingly. On the other hand, should we not be able to do 
this, but have to allow for 3 tons of raw ore per ton of 
65 per cent', concentrates, as above, the cost will not vary 
much from that given, viz., $1.15. 

We come now to the question, is a ton of 55 per cent, 
ore of the fineness already given, worth $1.15 at the 
works, or$l.o0 at the furnace? In valuing an ore for 
furnace practice, two methods may be used, the one based 
on the nature of the iron desired to be made from it, 
whether special high-grade Bessemer or basic open- 
Tiearth : the other, disregarding this feature of the ques- 



362 GEOLOGICAL SUBTKY OV ALABAMA. 

tion, as based on ordinary grades of foundry-, forge- an 
mill-iron made in this district. Both methods are i 
common use, and both are independent of the redueib 
^ty of the ore, this factor of the question not being ge: 
crally considered . 

The matter, then, narrows down to the question as t 
whether this ore, under the conditions now maintainini 
in the Birmingham district, is worth to the furnace $1.3 
per ton delivered. 

This may, perhaps, be answered to the best advanta 
if we inquire as to its value if it alone were to be use 
iin the furnace. As a matter of fact, unless it be ma 
nto briquettes, eggettes, or other suitable shape, b 
means of some binding material, it can not be thus use 
but for the purpose of this calculation we may assu 
that it can. 

We will assume that the limestone to be employed 
flux contains 3 per cent, of silica, that the coke used £ 
fuel contains 10 per cent, of ash, or 5 per cent, of silics 
and that the ore contains 55 per cent, of iron and 13 p 
cent, of silica. What will it cost to make to make a t 
of iron with these ingredients, allowing 2400 pounds 
ckke per ton of iron? 

1.82 tons of ore at $1.3C» '. ^2.36 

1.20 tons of coke at $1.75 2.10 

0.66 tons of stone at 0.60 : 0.39 

$4.85 

This cost is, of course, to be taken as representing th^^ 
cost of the materials entering into a ton of iron, and doe^^ 
not include labor costs, repairs and interest, andisbased^ 
on ordinary foundry-irons with slag carrying 35 per cent — 
of silica. 

Aside, however, fron considerations affecting the cosi^ 
of making iron, with or without these concentrates, 



LOW GRAD» ORES. 2(>8 

the Birmingham district, the success of the process will 
bring into use very large deposits of soft ore now prac- 
tically worthless, and enable the owners of such ore-lands 
to realize more on their investment than they could 
otherwise hope to do. The supply of the better grades 
of soft ore is not indefinitely great, and even where the 
qual X)y of the seams justifies mining, with the exceptio 
of some narrow seams of high grade ore, very little more 
than half the seam is now being taken. It follows that 
the original cost of the ore-lands must be doubled if the 
lower part of the ore is not used, and in charging off tlie 
cost of the land this fnct must be considered . If this proc< ss 
"will enable us to utilize the whole seam, t>p, middle and 
"bottom, all alnng the Red Mountain, the supply of 
soft ore is vers greaOy incrensed and the cost of making 
iron will continue lower than if we had to'mine ore un- 
der ground. 

To this pap^r may he added the following observa- 
tions. The difficulty of effecting a uniform and regular 
magnetization in the Davis-('Olhy kiln, was to a gr< at 
extent obviate- ^'V reconstructing the kiln, so as to provide 
4 chamhers ^^ch with its own in-take pipe from the pro- 
ducer and its own dr ift-pipe into the main connecting 
with the cetitral stack built alongside the kiln. Each of 
these comp.irtments held about 22 tons of raw ore. The 
advantage of thus dividing the kiln was at once ap- 
parent. Each compartment was a separate kiln, inde- 
pendent of all the others, and such reducing action as 
was desired could be carried on at will. If anv com- 
partment became too hot the amount of gas going into 
it was decrea«jed by closing the valve, if not hot enough 
additional gas was let in. Each compartment being 
provided with its own discharging door it could be em- 
plied without interfering with the others. There is np 
better kiln for calcining ore than the Davis-Colby, but 



264 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

when it came to magnetizing ore it was found necessary 
to reconstruct it. 

In regard to the magnetization of the fossil ores. It 
has occurred lo more than one person to endeavour to 
take advantage of the fact that they (in common with 
non-magnetic iron ores generally) become magnetic 
when exposed, at a sufficient temperature to the action 
of reducing gases. But so far as the writer is aware 
these were the first experiments on a large scale to im- 
prove the quality of the low grade ores of the Clinton 
formation, the so-called red fossil ores. 

la Maroh 1897 I receive I a very iaterastingcommani- 
cabioa fro n Mr. J:ao. r. Hinlett, Wyth3vills Vi., de- 
tailing 3 3 n3 exp3rimmts Id fnil3 10 yea-'s ajjo with the 
fossil ores of that part of Virginia, the S. W. portion. 
Mr. Hamlett wrote : 

'* About 10 years ago I examined these ores and con- 
cluded I would make an experiment with them, simply 
for ray amusement. I tjok several pieces as large as my 
fist, and put them on an ordinary wood fire and left them* 
th »re to roast all night. Next morning I pounded them 
up in an iron mortar to the size of ordinary blasting 
p)\vler. I tluMi c )ok a small, cheap pocket mignet 
of the usual horse-shoe type, and was some what sur- 
prised at the ready way in which I couM pick out the 
ore and leave the grains of silica. My little magnet 
W')uld draw up every particle of the ore. 

I then sent ahout 100 ll)s. of ihe ore to Mr. Clemens 
Jones, of Penna, informing him of my experiment. I 
was aware of the fact that his attention had been turn- 
ed to this subject of concentrating fossil ores by roast- 
ing them and u-'ing electricity as an agent in his work. 

In due course of time I received a letter from him 
stating that he had male a verv successful and encour- 



LOW GRDB OBES. 2C6 

-^igiQg test with the ores sent, him that they averaged 
IS4.30 per cent, of iron a^ received, but that he 
lad no difficulty whatever in concentrating them up to 
48 per cent without crushing them too fine, etc., etc. 

There the matter dropped, so far as I was concerned, 
•and there it has remained until this hour so far as these 
ores are concerned. 

Mr. Clemens Jones paper on the Magnetization of 

Jron ore" was read at the New York meeting of the 

-A. raerican Institute of Mining Engineers, September, 

1890, but there is no mention in it of the Virginia ore, 

^a.Tid he seems to have confined his experiments almost 

Entirely to limonite (brown ore) . 

So far as the writer is aware Mr. Hamlett was the 
rst to experiment even in a small way with the mag- 
etization and concentration of the red fossil ores, and 
tiliis fact WQuld certainly have been mentioned in the 
tlanta article had he known of it. 

It was stated in that article that we used the Hoff- 

an separator. We did so at first but afterwards used 

:-he Payne Separator, and obtained from it excellent re- 

ults, making about 100 tons of concentrates. It was 

«in every way superior to the Hoffman machine, and is 

--certainly well adopted for concentrating magnetic ore. 

^*Taking every thin^ into consideration it was thought 

"that the experiments conducted on so large a scale 

promised to develop into a valuable adjunct to the Birm- 

^nj^hara iron industry. But hearing of the Wetherill 

process it was decided to try this also, as it held out 

liopes of our being able to dispense with the magnetiz- 

-:iag of the ore, and this would be a great desideratum. 

CONCENTRATION BY THE WETHERILL PROCESS. 

So the concentrating plant was remodelled, and twofuH 



266 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

size Wetherill machines were put in. It is not our pur- 
pose to describe the Wetherill process. Briefly, it i& 
based on the fact that when iron, bearing minerals, 
properly prepared as to size, etc., are brought into a 
saturated magnetic field they are attracted in propro- 
tion to the strength of the current, and the amount of 
iron in the material. Non-magnetic ore is attracted 
just as if it were magnetic, and for all practical pur- 
poses these machines, whose magnets are actuated by 
a current of electricity, act on red fossil ore as if it were- 
magnetic. A report was made to the Wetherill Con- 
centrating Company on the resu.ts of various trials- 
lasting over several weeks, and formed a part of a pa- 
per read before the Pittsburg meeting of the Americaix 
Institute Mining Engineers. February, 1896, on **the 
magnetic Separation of Non-Magnetic material" by 
Messrs H. A. J. Wilkens and H. B. C. Nitze. Mr. Wil- 
kens was present when the experiments were being 
conducted, representing the Wetherill Company as its 
general manager, and with the writer had charge of the 
work. 

Messrs Wilkens and Nitze prepared a most excellent- 
paper on the Wetherill process generally and from it is^ 
taken the following description of what was accomplish- 
ed in concentrating the fossil ores of the Birmingham: 
district. 

'*Clin ton Fossil Ores — Of more general interest on* 
account of the greater application of the process and 
the large extent of the field, are, perhaps, the result* 
obtained on the red fossil hematite ores of the Birming- 
ham district in Alabama. 

The richer, soft ores of this district, such as are used 
in the furnaces, average from 45 to 48 per cent, iii iron, 
and from 30 to 24 per cent, in insoluble matter. Such 

res occur, however, only in a few localities, which are 



LOW GRADE ORER. 26'} 

limited in extent, and are now almost exhausted. By 
far the greater portion of the leached ore-beds consists 
of material running from 35 to 45 per cent, in iron and 
from 45 to 30 per cent, in insoluble matter. This latter 
class of ore cannot be used in the furnaces to advantage, 
and is therefore practically worthless, unless the per- 
centage of iron be raised by concentration ; and at the 
same time the insoluble matter be proportionately de- 
creased. 

Structurally, the ores as a rule fine-grained, the aver- 
age size of the distinct particles being such as would 
pass through a 10 mesh screen. 

On examining the product of separation it is seen 
that the ore consists of : 

1. Rounded silica grains, which, owing to a coating 
of iron oxide, are found by analysss to contain from 10 
to 15 per cent, of iron. 

2. Rounded grains of more highly ferruginous fma- 
terial; running, perhaps, 30 per cent in iron. 

3. A binding material of hematite, which in itself 
carries a varying amount of insoluble matter, depend- 
ing upon the locality of the ore, fineness of grain, etc. 
Various working tests were made on material from a 
great number of localities, and the results were verified 
by some 500 analysis. 

Space will not permit of a detailed account and dis- 
cussion of the results ; it is merely intended here to pre- 
sent a general idea of what was accomplished. 

The previous magnetization experiments had been 
made entirely on the richer soft ores, such as are now 
being used directly in the furnace, and of the composi- 
tion given above. Concentration tests on this material by 
the We the rill process gave the following results (Calcu- 
lated on a basis of 100 tons of raw ore) : 



268 GEOLOGICAL SURTBY OP ALABAMA*. 

Iron. Insoluble. 

Original ore gave .48.03 25.20 

57 tons of heads with. 57.10 13.10 

28. '' '' middling with. 46.20 25.40 

15. ' ' '' tails with 10.00 70.80 

It was further found that about 20 per cent in weight 
of this ore could be brought up to : 

Iron 59.15% 

Insoluble 10.45 

The above results compare most favorably with those 
previously obtained by the magnitizinj^ roasting process, 
particularly in the proportional amouQt of heads that 
were produced and the comparatively small percentage 
of iron carried in the tails. For the purpose of compari- 
son, the following results of the process are given, (cal- 
culated on a basis of 100 tons of raw ore) : 

Iron. Insoluble. 

Original magnetized ore gave 49.05 22.05 

15 tons of heads with 59.00 * 11.06 

3n *^ middlings with ...52.00 20.00 

50 '' tails '• 44.00 28.00 

Only the more perfectly magnetized material was used 
on the concentrating machines. 

In the magnetizing process is to be considered not only 
the cost of roasting, but also the irnperfections attending 
it, such as the incomplete magnetization, the louping of 
the ore-lumps, and the inability to use a large percent- 
age of fines in the kiln. 

There is no doubt, moreover, that the raw material is 
better adapted for concentration, on account of the uni- 
formity in the magnetic properties and physical struc- 
ture of the several ingredients. 

The tests by direct concentration on the lower-grade 



- LOW GRADE ORBS. 269 

ores showed a proportionately greater increase in the 
percentage of iron than those on the higher-grade mate- 
rial. The quality of the heads was, however, not as 
good, which shows that the hematite matrix in the low- 
grade ores shows a larger percentage of inherent insolu- 
ble matter than that of the richer ores. 

Among others the following results were obtained : 
(Calculated on the basis of 100 tons of raw ore) . 

Iron. Insoluble, 

Original ore gave 41.58 37.61 

«9 tons of heads with 52.00 23.00 

-SI '• tails '* 18.40 70.00 

About 25 % in weight of this original ore was raised 

o: iron, 56.40 % ; insoluble, 17 %. 
Tests were also made on the so-called ** hard ore,'' 
hich represents that portion of the ore-bed from which 
6 lime has not been leached. The raw ore of this 

liaracter, as used at the furnaces, averages : iron, 35.50 ; 
soluble, 17.50; lime, 16 %. 
From this were obtained from 50 to 60 % in weight 

i heads, containing : iron, 48 ; insoluble, 10.50 ; lime, 

In preparing this paper Messrs. Wilkins & Nitze had 
in view an account of the Wetherill process as applied 
to various ores, not only of iron, but of zinc, and man- 
ganese, and to monazite sands, etc. It was not the pur- 
pose to speak particularly of the results reached in the 
Birmingham district on the low-grade Clinton ores. 
Their paper, therefore, while fully indicating the lines 
along which work was carried on here could not deal in 
detail with every feature of it. As the writer is con- 
vinced that some such method of concentration will 
eventually be used here it may not be out of place to 



270 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

gire atkor results reached la experimenting, on a com- 
iMraalaGi^e» with the Wetberill process. 

The question was rfisciiaaed by the writer ia tke En- 
gineering and Mining Journal, New Yorit» Vol. LXH, 
pp.75, 105, 124, 161, and the description given bereia 
taken partly from that publication, and in addition 
from his own note-books. 

The Wetherill Incliaed Magnet Machine, and the 
Flat Magaet Machiue were used, sometimes oqe and 
sometimes the other. The soft red ore was passed 
through a 15-mesh screen, and fed to the machine run- 
ning at 8 amperes and 100 volts. 

Iron. Insoluble. 

100 tons original ore gave 39.20 40.16 

52.4 tons heads with..*. 5«.40 17.10 

6.9 *' middlings with 38.85 41.35 

40.7 *' tails with 16.70 74.10 

The gain of the heads in iron was 43.8 % over the 
original ore, and the reduction of the insoluble siliceous 
matter was 57.4 % ; number of tons of raw ore for 1 ton 
of 56 40 % concentrates, 1.91. That is to say, from 
1.91 tons of raw ore carrying 39.20 % of iron there was 
obtained 1 ton of ore with 56.40 % of iron. This result 
given here were not obtained at a single operation, and 
the course of treatment was as k)llows : 

1st pass, amperes, 10 ; volts, 100. 

Iron. Insoluble. 

100 tons original ore gave 39.20 40.16 

59.3 *' heads and middlings with . .54.10 18.80 

40.7 '' tails '' 16.70 74.10 

The heads and middlings from the 1st pass were re- 
passed at 8 amperes and 100 volts, and we obtained two 



LOW GRADB ORES. 271 

products, viz. : middlings, 4 % of the original ore^ with 
31.40 % of iron, and 52.20 % of insoluble matter; and 
heads and middlings, 55% of the original ore^ wUk&4vlO 
per cent, iron, and 18.70 per ceat. hwoluble matter. 
Finally these second headland middlings were repassed 
at r» amperes^ IW' volts, and two products obt<ained> 
-v\z: miditthigs, 2.9 per cent, of the original ore, with 
4ft.30 percent, of iron, and 30.50 per cent, of insoluble, 
and heads (final heads) 52.4 per c^nt, of the original 
ore, with 56.40 per cent, of iron, and 17.10 per cent, of 
insoluble. We could have stopped with the first heads 
and middlings, and have had 59 8 per ceat. by weight of 
the original ore, with 54.10 per cent, iron, and 18.80 
percent, of insoluble matter. We may say, then, that 
from an ore carrying 3i).20 per cent, of iron, and 40.16 
per cent, of siliceous matter we obtained at the first 
pass 59 per cent, by weight of concentrates with 54.10 
per cent, iron, and 18.80 per cent of siliceous matter. 
The gain in the percentage of iron was 38 per cent, above 
the original ore, the reduction of the siliceous matter 
was 53 per cent., and for one ton of concentrates there 
was required 1.69 tons of raw ore. 

One hundred tons of this raw ore would yield 59 tons 
of concentrates with 54 per cent, of iron, and 41 tons of 
tails with 1G.70 per cent, of iron. 

In our operations the amount of raw ore passing a 
40-mesh screen was 33 percent, of the ore, and this con- 
tained 49.4 per cent, of iron, and 26.5 percent, of 
siliceaus matter. The fines from this low-grade ore are 
much richer in iron than the coarse stuff. They carry 
frofti 49 per cent, to 54 per cent, of iron even when the 
original ore carries only 37 ptt cent, of irbti. 

The ferrugitidus portion of the ore is softer thati the 
more sandy portionB, and it is possible to tSedt a r^ty 
cotisiderable concentration merely by crushing the dry 



272 GBOLOGIC AL SURVB Y OF ALABAMA . 

ore and screening over a 40mesh screen. The amoui 
of material passing through a screen of this finenei 
varies from 25 per cent, to 35 per cent., so that 
might expect to get to 54 per cent, of iron in on< 
fourth to one-third of the raw ore simply by eras] 
ing and screening. There is an increase of iron in th^ 
material finer than 40-raesb, but hardly enough to merU 
attention. 

The material through a 40-mesh screen was, therefore 
called fines, and can be concentrated somewhat, 
working on the fines we used the inclined-magnet mi 
chine, and obtained results as follows : 

Iron. Insoluble 

Fines through 40.mesh 49.40 26.50 

10 amperes, 100 volts, gave 

12.6 per cent, of heads with 55.30 17.12 

22.8 per cent, of middlings with. . . .51.75 21.10 

64.6 per cent, of tails with 45.80 30.35 

The gain of the heads in iron was 11.9 per cent., and 
the loss of insoluble matter was 35.4 per cent. 

Numerous experiments with this and similar material 
satisfied us that it would not be profitable to attempt its 
concentration. It should be briquetted at once without 
further treatment, or mixed with 'heads' and briquetted^ 

Material through an 8-mesh and over a 15-mesh screen 
was tried on the inclined-magnet machine, with the fol- 
lowing results : 

Iron . Insoluble- 
Raw ore through 8 over 15 mesh, 

24 percent 35.40 46.34 

6 amperes, iOO volts, heads, 45.5 per 

cent 50.20 24.34 

Middlings 19.0 per cent 43.00 34.95 

Tails 55.5 per cent 15.40 75.35 



LOW GRABS 0B1». 273 

By repassing the middlings, the yield of 'heads' could 
be increased perhaps to 50 per cent., so that there would 
be 50 per cent, of heads, instead of 85.40 per cent. But 
it would not be advisable to use ore of this degree of 
coarseness, as the mechanical separation of the ore into 
ferruginous portion plus matrix is more perfect in ma^ 
terial through a 15 or 20-mesh screen than in coarser 
stuff. Crushing the ore merely separates it into two por- 
tions, the one carrying iron, the other carrying silica, 
and the object of the separation is to divide the one from 
the other. 

The following results from concentrating low grade 
soft red ore by the Wetherill process are taken from the 
writer's note-books. 

Iron. Insoluble, 

Original ore 34.90 47.12 

Gave. 

62 per cent, of heads with 49.20 25.84 

20 per cent, of middlings with 39.20 41.00 

28 per cent, of tails with 14.00 78.14 

Original ore 36.80 45.56 

46 per cent, of heads with 52.90 21.24 

15 per cent, of middlings with 37.45 43.62 

39 per cent, of tails with 17.20 74.68 

Iron. Insoluble • 

Original ore 39.20 40.16 

Gave. 

51.6 per cent, of heads with 52.50 22.60 

11.4 per cent, of middlings with 32.05 51.89 

37.0 per cent, of tails with 16.10 74.76 

Another trial of this ore under somewhat different con- 
ditions resulted as follows : 
18 



274 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 

Iron. Insoltu 

Original ore 39.20 40.: 

Gave. 

56.4 per cent, of heads with 53.80 19.' 

43.6 per cent, of tails with 24.70 62.! 

And a third trial, varying the treatment : 

Iron . Insolul 

Original ore 39.20 40.1i 

Gave. 

52.4 per cent, of heads with 5t3.40 17. 

6.9 percent, of middlings with 38.85 41.35 

40.7 per cent, of tails with 16.70 74.10 

These last results having been already quoted. 

Iron. Insoluble, 

Original ore 34.82 47.60 

Gave. 

42 per cent, of heads with 55.60 17.00 

18 per cent, of middlings with 87.95 43.17 

40 per cent of tails with 13.50 79.88 

Iron. Insoluble, 

Original ore 42.00 36.42 

Gave. 

59 per cent, of heads with 51.00 25.20 

23.7 per cent, of middlings with 45.70 31.7(5 

17.3 per cent, of tails with 12.90 79.80 

Original ore 37.30 42.90 

Gave . 

47 per cent, of heads with 53.25 19.05 

24 per cent, middlings with 30.26 5i .94 

29 per cent, tails with. 13.70 78.70 

Original ore 37.36 42.73 

Gave. 

46 per cent, of heads with. 50.50 22.12 

15 per cent, of middlings with 36.80 42.73 



LOW GRADE OEES. 275 

39 per cent, of tails with 15.80 . 74.20 

A great many more analysis could be given, all bearing 
on this question, as the writer has devoted much time to 
the study of the matter. But these will suffice to show 
what was done, and to indicate the lines along which 
future investigations will doubtless be conducted. So 
far as concerns the low grade soft red ore of the Birm- 
ingham district ic may be said that it far exceeds in 
quantity the richer ores, and it can be mined more chap- 
ly than these. The vast deposit of low-grade ore 
carrying from 33 per cent, to 40 per cent, of iron can be 
utilized. Now they are practically worthies, and the 
exhaustion of the richer ores is proceeding very rapidly. 
There will come a time, and that soon, when the soft red 
ore as now used will become so scarce as to force the 
iron companies to discontinue its use, or pay more for it. 
The careful experiments that were made demonstrated 
beyond any question that an ore of 35 per cent, of iron 
could be concentrated to 52 per cent. , and that 2 tons of 
raw ore would yield 1 ton of such concentrates. This 
means that ore now worthless can be made into concen- 
trates richer than any soft red ore now used in the Birm- 
ingham district, with the possible exception of the Iron- 
dale seam. There is not in the entire State a more in- 
viting field for cultivation by the far-seeing iron-master. 
The enormous expense incurred by Mr. Edison in 
concentrating the low-grade magnetites of Sussex Co. 
New Jersey, would not be required here. It is true 
that he takes an ore of . about 17 per cent, of iron 
and concentrates it to about 63 per cent., and it is also 
trjie that his concentrates are Bessemer ore, and worth 
fqur or five times as much as the Alabama product 
would be. But the market for the Alabama concen- 
trates would be at the very door of the works, and the 



27i6 GEOLOGlCAt StlAVtif OF ALABAMAs. 

co6t of production would be f^f below the cdst in New- 
Jersey. 

In urging this matter upon the attention of the pro- 
gi'es&ive iron makers in Alabama, it is hoped th&t steps* 
will be taken to put to profitable use what is now use- 
less, and yet is capable of being made of the highest* 
use. We can never avail ourselves of the resources that 
nature has so bountifully supplied unless we overcome 
the obstacles that nature herself has placed in our path* 
The utilization of the low-grade soft ores if not now a 
necessity of the situation will speedily become so, for 
the other ore is disappearing ; there is not enough cheap 
brown ore to take its place, and to replace it with limy- 
ore means an increase of the cost account. 

But tLe low-grade soft red ores are not the only ores- 
that lend themselves readily to concentration. There^ 
are very large deposits of 'hard' red pre (limy ore) that 
can not be used because of the low percentage of iron 
and the high percentage of siliceous matter. 

In view of the results obtained with the Wetherill- 
process one is forced to the conclusion that concentra- 
tion based on previous artificial magnetization cannot 
be recommended. It is true that the final heads from 
magnetized ore carry more iron than the final heads 
from the Wetherill process, but on the average this dif- 
ference is not above 5 or 6 per cent, and can not coun- 
terbalance the difference in the cost of the two schemes. 

Furthermore, thfe waste of iron in the tails from mag* 
netized ore is very touch gi-eater than from the Wetherill 
machines. Unless all of the ore is thoroughly mag- 
netized this loss Will be constant, and unavoidable^ 
The cost oif thorough atid unifbrm maghetization would 
be rery great, even if possible at all. The writer 'may 
fee pardoned for having taken an encouraging vdew of 
concentration based on magnetization in 1895,. because^ 



it seemed then iio *be the only solution of the probleni. 
To concentrate three tons of ore into one would have 
paid then as"it will pay now. It is probable, from addi- 
tional study of the subject, that in the magnetization 
(process there would have been required three tons of 
raw ore forgone ton off 'Concentrates carrying 55 percent, 
of iron, but by using the Wetherill process two tons of 
raw ore will make one ton of 53 per cent, concentrates. 
To mine and treat one ton of ore for two per cent, of 
iron does not present many attractive features. 

The Wetherill process is* carried on at so much less 
expense throughout that if it gives approximately the 
same results, this feature alone would commend it. The 
sole advantage that the magnetizing process possesses 
over the other is in the higher percentage of iron in the 
final heads, and this advantage disappears entirely when 
we consider the cost at which it is gained. 

These two processes have been described because they 
are the only processes that seem to merit attention, and 
of these the magnetizing process must now be excluded. 
If it is asked why either one is to be considered we re- 
ply because the supply of cheap soft red ore carrying 
from 45 to 48 per cent, of iron is being rapidly depleted, 
a.nd in a few years will be practically exhausted. This 
may not be a welcome truth to some, and others will 
deny it, but it remains, in spite of surprise and denial. 
So far as concerns the soft red ore the time is not dis- 
tant when a much higher price will be paid for it than 
now maintains. The great bulk of the ore on the Red 
Mountain, near Birmingham, which uninitiated visit- 
ors regard with wondering eye, is too poor in iron to be 
used in the furnaces. If used at all it will have to be 
improved by concentration, or the furnace practice will 
be confined to hard (Ijimy) ore and brown pre. 

We may keep the great out-crops of ore for a sort of 







278 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

show- place, as they are to some extent now, and C( 
tinue to publish photographs showing 15, 20, and 
feet of ore as evidence of the prodigality of naturr"*** 
But there is not a single place on Red Mountain, fro- 
Irondale to Raymond, where even 12 feet of ore ^* 

mined, and the huge seams taken as a whole are wort! 
less. It is all very well to take visitors to some grei 
cut in the seam, and ask them what they think of th^^ 
for ore. What they will think depends entirely up< 
how much they know about, the ore. If they do m 
know much their astonishment will be all that the doloi 
accomplished 'boomer' could wish, but if they know tl 
ore they will be apt to ask how it is proposed to utili: 
such low-grade stuff. 

This low-grade material, which exists in very larj 
masses, can be utilized by concentration, but until thi 
is done it is commercially of no importance. 

Concentration of the ^Ilard^ (Limy) Red Ore, 

The following experiments were made with the Weth 

erill process on the ordinary 'hard' (limy) ores of th< 
Birmingham District. 

Concentration of Hard (Limy) Ore. 

Two experiments on the ordinary limy ore are firsi 

given. 

Iron. 

Original ore 37.60 

gave 

55 per cent, heads with 48.70 

15 per cent, middlings with 29.00 

30 per cent, tails *' 18.20 

With an ore not so good but still passable : 

Original ore 34.50 17.10 18.04 



Lime. 


Insoluble ^ 


15.00 


16.20 


9.76 


10.26 


21.40 


18.20 


25.12 


27.00 



LOW GRADE ORES. 279 

*4 per cent, of heads with 45.40 11.45 12.25 

7 " '* middlings '* 25,80 24.02 17.95 

^9 '* '* tails '* 13.55 27.10 30.34 

To bring the iron up from 37.6 per cent, to 48.70 per 
<;ent., and at the same time preserve the self-fluxing na- 
ture of the ore is very encouraging. The second re- 
sults are still better. 

The low-grade limy ore was then tried with the follow- 
ing results : 

Iron. 

Original ore 31.80 

Gave. 

44 per cent, of heads with. . .43.15 

6 ' ' middlings with . 29 .45 

60 *' tails ** .22.80 

Original ore 32.80 

Gave. 

58 per cent, of heads with. . . .44.50 
10 " middlings with . 35 .90 

32 " tails ** .21.60 

Other experiments on similar limy ore showed similar 
results. In its original condition this low-grade limy 
ore is not self-fluxing, i. e., it does not carry enough 
lime to flux the siliceous matter, and by concentration 
it does not become so. But it is greatly improved. In 
the one case the ratio in the raw ore • between the lime 
and the siliceous matter is 1 : 3, but in the heads it was 
reduced to 1 : 2.2. In the other case the ratio fell from 
1 : 3.4 in the original ore to 1 : 1.9 in the heads. The 
original ore is worthless, the concentrates, while not 
self-fluxing, are still very good semi-hard ore. The re- 
lation of the low-grade * hard ' ore to the * hard'' ore 
mined is approximately the same as that of the low- 



jime. 


Insoluble. 


10.79 


33.10 


8.80 


19.66 


12.40 


32.90 


12.52 


43.82 


9.90 


33.70 


9.00 


17.30 


13.20 


23.28 


8.80 


42.70 



280 GEOLOGICAL SUBVSY OF ALABAMA. 

grade soft ore to the soft ore mined. Take for instance, 
the big seam on Red Mountain. In places it is 22 feet 
thick, but will average about 20 feet. Where the lime 
has been leached out the whole of the seam is soft ore, 
but only the upper 10 feet is mined, the lower 10 feet 
being too low in iron and too high in silica to allow of 
its profitable use in the furnace. As the seam goes 
under cover the lime increases and the ore becomes 
* hard, ' or limy, and when the lime and the silica are in 
equal proportions the ore is said to be self-fluxing, as 
has been fully explained in the chapter on ores. The 
8 or 10 feet of the * hard ' ore next to the roof of the 
seam is the better portion, just as this part of the 
leached, or soft ore is the best. The 8 or 10 feet of the 
' hard ' ore next to the floor of the seam is too low in 
iron and lime, and too high in silica to be used. It 
must be concentrated, just as the corresponding part of 
the seam towards the outcrop must be concentrated. 

The following sketch will explain the relative posi- 
tions of the usable soft and hard ores, and the unusable^ 



LOW GRADE ORES 




282 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY of ALABAMA. 

In this sketch the distance along the dip to which the 
* soft,' or lime-free ore goes is taken at 300 feet. This 
is not always the case. Sometimes the * hard ' or lime- 
ore, begins much nearer the crop, and at places the soft 
ore extends further than 300 feet. But no matter 
whether the distance is more or less than 300 feet even- 
tually ttie lime-ore replaces the other and extends from 
wall to wall. The sketch shows that about one-half of 
the soft is mined and used, the remainder being unfit 
for use. It also shows that about one-half of the * hard ^ 
ore is mined and used, the remainder being unfit for use. 
It is the lower half in each case that must be concen- 
trated. 
' It is not proposed, at present, to attempt the concen- 
tration of the upper half, either of the soft, or of hard 
ore, inasmuch as the prices at which they are delivered 
render the competition even of better ore very severe. 
But taking the best case in which one-half of the big 
seam can be mined, as the sketch shows, the other half 
is practically worihless as it is. This is the big seam 
at its best, and there is not much of the minable portion, 
of it left. But in many places, as between Red Gap and. 
Lone Pine Gap, on R^id Mountain, near Birmingham,, 
the entire thickne:^s is of low-grade, none of it is fit 
to use, and the 20 feet would be available for concen- 
tration. 

Reasoning from analogy we can expect the entire 
seam under cover, and when it becomes limy to be also 
of low-grade. The question of concentrating the low- 
grade limy ore, is, therefore, of no small moment. Allow- 
ing for the sake of the argument that the furnace prac- 
tice in the Birmingham district will be based more and 
more on the use of limy ore, and that there will be less 
and less * soft ' ore used, where is the limy ore to come 
from? The estimates as to the amount of limy ore 



LOW GRADE ORES. 283 

lable will have to be greatly reduced, and when ] [p 






' ;} 



er and larger demands are made upon it, as will cer- 

ly be the case if the use of softcore is lessened or dis- 

laued entirely, it is doubtful if they can be met, 

jpt at an increased cost. Regarded from any stand- jj t{ 

Lt, whether that of soft ore, or of hard ore, concen- 

ion becomes a Yer> live question, and one to which 

)rudent manager can refuse to give earnest heed. 

he self-fluxin£^ limv ores of the Clinton formation are 

ily esteemed, and justly so, for while not rich in 

. they carry the lime necessary for fluxing their own 

a. This is a great advantage, and any plan that 

nises to increase the available supply of these ores 

ainly merits the most careful consideration. 

►ther suggestion that has been made in respect of im- 

ving the quality of the limy ores is to calcine them 

send the hot ore to the furnace. Taking an ordi- 
y limy ore, ?.t'. With iron 37%, silica 16%, lime 
Donate 28%, if the carbonic acid were entirely re- 
'•ed the analysis would show iron 42%, silica 18%, 
3 17.9%. One hundred tons would weigh 87.7 tons, 

in respect of weight to be handled there would be a 
Ltive advantage. Of the raw ore there would be re- 
red 2.7 tons per ton of iron, of the calcined ore 2.38 
3, a saving of 716 lbs., of [ore per ton of iron. In 
3r words, a 150 ton furnace running on all hard ore 
lires 405 tons and wouldjrequire 357 tons of calcined 
It it was charged with as much calcined ore as 

ore the output would be 170 tons instead of 150 
I, a gain of 13%. 

ome experiments were tried here, but were not con- 
ted long enough to warrant one in giving an opin- 
as to the results. There is no difficulty in removing 
carbonic acid in a gas-fired Davis — Colby kiln, as we 
id that the ore from the shutes contained only a few' 



Uii 



ZSi GEOLOGICAL SURYBY OF ALABAMA. 

tenths of a per cent, of carbonic acid, whereas it carri( 
nerly 11% b,^ charged into the kiln. 

The ore would, of course, still be self-fluxing, and th-^ 
question would be whether the removal of the carboni-i 
acid outside of the furnace, with the consequent tran^ 
formation of the carbonate of lime into caustic lim€= 
would benefit the ore more than it would cost. 

Without entering upon any lengthy discussion, as th_ 
matter has not yet passed the experimental stage, w" ■ 
may regard the question briefly, from a physical and ^ 
chemical standpoint. 

Physically the ore would become more porous as th.6 
expulsion of the carbonic acid would, to a great extent, 
destroy its compactness. It would lose in weight, but 
this would be more than counter- balanced by the gaia 
in the per centage of iron. Its increased porosity would 
allow easier penetration for the reducing gases of the 
furnace. Against this may be placed its increased fria- 
bility, and the consequent production of a greater quan- 
tity of the fine material in the furnace. Chemically, we 
should have to consider the effect upon the combustible 
gases of the introduction of caustic lime instead of car- 
bonate of lime. 

The carbonic acid has to be removed and the question 
narrows down to a single consideration, viz : Is there 
any advantage in removing it outside of the furnace? 
The heat within the furnace removes it quite as effec- 
tively as the heat of a kiln, but then we would have to 
weigh the effect of large volumes of hot carbonic acid 
on the coke, with solution of carbon, &c. Cokes differ 
markedly in this respect, and each one has to be exam- 
ined in and for itself. If the calcined ore is charged 
direct it would carry a considerable amount of heat into 
the upper part of the furnace and it would be more diffi- 
cult to maintain a cool top. This, however, need hardly 



LOW GRADE ORES. 285 

be considered, as the additional temperature, due to 
charging hot material, would be derived, not from reac- 
tions within the furnace, but from extraneous sources. 
A cool top under ordinary conditions means that the heat 
within the furnace is used in melting the stock, and is not 
escaping in the gases. But if a hot top is due to extrane- 
ous heat, such, for instance, as hot material charged^ . 
there would be no injurious effect upon the zone of fusion . 
It might be advantageous to have a hot top if the heat 
was not derived from the reactions within the furnace, 
as the gases to be consumed under the boilers and in the 
stoves would arrive at the burners at a higher tempera- 
ture. Aside from such considerations, however, it seems 
advisable to use the calcined ore direct. Where it is 
stocked, or allowed to remain even for twenty-four hours 
in the air, it rapidly takes up water and becomes pasty. 
When the slacking of the caustic lime is completed the 
material appears dry but in reality contains not only 
water of hydration but carbonic acid also. When the 
water of hydration is expelled the lime becomes pulver- 
ulent and dusty, blows about in every breeze and is 
troublesome to both bottom and top fillers. It can be 
dampened with water from a hose-pipe, of course, but in 
that case the mass becomes pasty, and the stockhouse 
uncomfortable. If the ore is not used direct, (the kiln 
being in immediate proximity to the furnace), the ad- 
vantages to be obtained from calcining begin to disappear 
at once, and continue to become less and less the longer 
the interval between calcination and charging. 

CONCENTRATION OF BROWN ORES. 

Some experiments on concentrating brown ores were 
made with the Wetherill process, but we did not proceed 
fSLT enough to obtain any very positive results. We 



286 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

found that an ore carrying, on dry basis, 45% of ivCZ 
and 18 % of silica could be improved so that about 5^ 
of it carried 52% of iron. In the paper by Mesb 
Wilkens and Nitze, already quoted, are given resu^ 
from the trial of some Virginia brown ores. Thu^ 
brown ore from Iron Gate, Alleghany county, gave t 
following results : 

Iron. Silica. 

Original ore 43.08 31.29 

Gave 

Concentrates, 63.4% with 51.04 11.24 

Tails 36.6% with 31.74 

Washer tailings from Barren Springs, Va. 

Iron. Silica. 

Original ore 32.03 29.93 

Gave 

Concentrates, 30 % with 53. 14 7.43 

Tails 70 % with 22.98 39.58 

It may be that some such process will be found to b 
applicable to low-grade brown ores, especially to was! 
er-tailings and kiln screenings, but for the most pai 
calcination will be used on brown ores for improviu 
their quality. 

There are doubtless many brown ores whose initio 
content of iron is so low as to forbid the expense of ca! 
cining, and some magnetic process may eventually b 
applied to them. But for brown ores that carry froi 
40 to 45% of iron, dry, calcining is to be preferred. 

Calcining is not commonly practiced in Alabama 
Some of the charcoal furnace calcine their brow 
pre, but by far the largest users of the brow 



LOW GRADE ORES. 287 

, the Woodstock furnaces at Anniston, and the 
f Lix-naces at Sheffield and Birmingham do not use cal- 
cinted ore. 

^When calcining is practiced one of two methods are 
vis^d, the old fashioned open air pile fired with charcoal 
bi-^eze ; or the new fashioned gas-fired kiln. The former 
ra^tlnod needs no description. When properly managed 
it gives fair results, but can not be depended on to give 
uniformly calcined ore. Even with careful attention, 
wlT.ioh it seldom gets, a part of the ore will not be calcin- 
ed o,t all, a part will be properly calcined, and a part 
will be 'louped'. 

-^^V ttention is being drawn more and more to calcining 
i^ S^'S-fired kilns, and of the various kinds the Davis- 
Coll:3y is preferred. In this kiln the current of heated 
ga.s and flame is drawn across the ore as it descends be- 
iwr^^Q liie outer walls of the combustion chamber and a 
^^^rxtral space connected with the stack., The kiln is built 
^^ ^^ny convenient size, from 100 to 150 tons capacity, 
^^<i is fired with producer gas. 

llowing 7 per cent, of hygrocopic water, removable 

12 deg. F, and 7 per cent, of combined water, remov- 

only at red heat, a kiln holding 125-140 tons of raw 

will deliver from 107 to 120 tons of thoroughly and 

Eormly calcined ore per 24 hours, with a consumption 

i to 3 tons of coal. To calcine one ton of raw ore 

^0 lbs.) requires about 52 lbs, of coal. 

'he advantages of the gas-fired kiln are economy of 

', and uniformity of product. These advantages 

intain under all conditions, except where the price of 

O is prohibitory, and even there the wood-fir^d- or 

rcoal-fired producer may be used. 

^he use of all brown ore in coke furnaces may be ren- 

ed necessary by contracts specifying that the iron 

.11 be made from brown ore, or by proximity to de- 



288 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

posits known to be very considerable. A determinati 
on the part of furnace owners to make a special hi 
grade charcoal iron would also entail the exclusive u 
of brown ore. 

A kiln to treat 140 tons of raw ore per day, with pr— 
ducer and all necessary fittings, will cost about $7,00" 
and will yield ordinarily about 120 tons of calcined or^ 
This amount would contain from 60 to 65 tons of iio:m 
and would be equivalent to 20 per cent, of the ore bix. 
den for two 150 ton furnaces. 

The freight on a ton of raw ore from the washer to the 
furnace may be taken at 25 cts. in the Birmingham dis- 
trict, and if the ore averages 47 per cent, of iron we 
would have 1052.8 lbs. of iron costing for freight 25 cts. 

The freight on a ton of calcined ore would also be 25 
cents, bat it would contain 54 per cent, of iron, or in the 
ton 1209.6 lbs. of iron. So far, therefore, as concerns 
the transportation charges we would get 1209.6 lbs. of 
iron in the calcined ore at the same price paid for 1052.8 
lbs. in the raw ore. Each ton of calcined ore delivered 
at the furnace would contain 156.8 lbs. of iron more than 
a ton of raw ore. If it requires 4 men in the stockhouse^ 
as bottom-fillers, to handle 140 tons of raw ore per day, 
containing 65.8 tons of iron, 3 men could handle the 
121.7 tons of calcined ore required for the same amount 
of metal, Ro far as concerns the handling of the ore in 
the stockhouse there would be a saving of one man at 
each furnace by substituting calcined ore for raw ore. 

The economy becomes even more striking if we con- 
sider iht kiln as situated at the furnace, so that the bot- 
tom-fillers could draw the ore from the shutes. At one 
well managed plant this has been the practice for several 
years. The trams come in from the washer and dis- 
charge into the kiln. The bottom-fillers draw from lihe 
fiihutes into the buggies, and the hot ore goes at once ta 



LOW GRADE ORES. 289 

the furnace. At this establishment it has been shown 
that there is great advantage in the use of calcined ore^ 
irrespective of the easy way of handling it in use, and it 
fortunately happens that it is able to compare, for a 
term of years, the practice on raw ore, pile-calcined, 
and kiln-calcined ore. 

It is not going too far to say that it would be profitable 
to erect kilns at the furnaces, even when the ore has to 
be hauled at a freight cost of 25 cts. per ton, or even 
more. 

Excessive freight charges on ore would, of course, 
militate against this proposition, but until they, rise be- 
yond 40 cts. per ton calcining would be advantageous. 

The erection of kilns at the mines, except under unus- 
ual conditions, can not be recommended, for the reason 
that the life of a brown ore deposit is uncertain. 

But at the furnace, and especially where coke is made 
on the spot and it is possible to calcine with waste gases 
from the ovens, this objection is removed. The furnace 
operator would be able to buy ore from the smaller 
mines which can not incur the expense of building kilns, 
ihe entire process would be under one management, and 
the utilization of gases now going to waste would, of it- 
self, show a profit. 

It is a truth of general application that it pays to cal- 
cine brown ore, for it has been shown to be beneficial 

wherever it has been carefully and faithfully carried out* 
19 



290 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER X. 

BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON. 



The manufacture of basic open-hearth steel in Ala- 
bama began on the 8th of March 1888 at North 
Birmingham. It was the first attempt at steel making in 
the State, and this furnace was among the first basic 
open furnaces built in the United States, if not the first. 

The enterprising character of the men composing the 
Henderson Steel and Manufacturing Company in under- 
taking at this early date to enter upon the production of 
basic steel when there was but one other establishment 
in the country is deserving of the highest praise. 

There was very little known about basic steel then, 
for the development of the industry has been rendered 
possible during the last 10 years. The Henderson Steel 
and Manufacturing company may, therefore claim, to 
have been the pioneers in an industry which has grown 
to very large proportions elsewhere in this country and 
which now promises to be of increasing importance here. 

While the operations at North Birmingham did not 
attain the commercial success so well deserved by the 
faith and progressiveness of the promoters, technically 
the process even then was successful. In its essential 
construction and operation the furnace did not diiffer 
from those now used, for although what was known as 
the Henderson process was employed yet there was no 
real difference between it and the more recent modifica- 
tions of the basic open-hearth. 

To the kindness of Mr. H. F. Wilson, the secretary of 
the company, the writer is indebted for some data con- 
cerning this furnace. It was of 13 tons capacity, and 
made 200 heats before it was closed down. The maxi- 
mum out put in any one day of 24 hours was 25 tons, 



BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IBON. 291 

and about 1600 tons of steel were made. The steel was 
sold, as ingots, to the Bessemer Rolling Mill Company, 
Bessemer, Ala., for aboub $22.00 a ton and they made 
most excellent boiler plate of it. Crellin and Nails, 
Birmingham, manufactured boilers of it, and some of 
their work may now be seen in the grain mill of Mr. B . 
B. Comer, Birmingham. 

The pig iron used was mottled and white of local pro- 
duction. Mr. E. E. Robinson was melter. The follow- 
ing table gives the composition of the heats and the 
analyses of the steel from heat No. 93 to 105, inclusive 



r 



y 



OEOLOOICAL BUBVKT OP ALABAMA. 



■K 


lii-l 


S 


B 








«; 
















&1 




8! 


K 






t- 




M 



ssssssssssss? 



2gSBS£SSBggS 



|ggS8iiiii§i§ 



|§8|§_§| 






es CI ■•; t; r-; t-; rf M r-; OB lO -; 



ISSgSSiSoSSSS 



BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON. 293 

Additional information in, regard to the early history 
M)f steel-making in Alabama is contained in a pamphlet 
-entitled "Basic Steel. Report of committee on its sue- 
Kjessful and economical manufacture by the Henderson 
Steel and Manufacturing Company, North Birmingham, 
Ala., August 27th, 18tt0." 

This committee was composed of A. B. Johnston, 
president Birmingham Chamber of Commerce; W. H. 
Hassinger, manager Alabama Rolling Mill, Gate City ; 
O. L. Leutscher, chemist Tennessee Coal, Iron and Rail- 
way Co. ; P. Leeds, superintendent machinery Louisville 
and Nashville Railway Company ; and H. R. Johnston. 

Mr. Gogin was at that time manager of the steel 
company. 

This committee reported that on August 19th, 1890, 
*here was charged into the furnace — 

White Pig Iron from Pounds. 

DeBardeleben furnaces 

Bessemer, Ala 15,000 

Pit scrap 5 ,525 

Miscellaneous scrap 4,514 

Brown ore, 55 per ct. iron • 742 

Spiegel 200 

Ferro-manganese 200 

Total metal 26,181 

The quantity of fluorspar and limestone was not given. 

The yield of metal was — Pounds. 

^4 steel ingots 22,250 

Pit scrap 1 ,510 

The yield then was 85 per ct. of ingots and 6 per ct. 
pit scrap, and the loss of metal about 9 per ct. 

The committee further reported that basic billets and 
5labs could be made for $22.00 a ton. 



t i 
i i 
a 



294 GEOJ-OGICAL SURVEY OF AX-ABAMA. 

The analyses quoted were as follows : 

WHITB PIO IRON. 

Silicon 0.43 per ct. 

Suiphur 0.14« 

Phosphorus 0.68 

Manganese 0,10 

BROWN ORB. 

Metallic iron 56.1 2 per ct» 

Phosphorus 0.34 '' 

lusoluble residue 4.99 " 

LIMESTONE. 

Carbonate of Lime 95.71 per ct» 

Alumina and Oxide of Iron 1.04 " 

Silica...; 1.33 '' 

STEEL. 

Silicon Trace . 

Sulphur 0.06 per ct. 

Phosphorus 0.018 '' 

Manganese 0.29 " 

Carbon 0.08 *' 

The writer made an analysis, in 1890, of a sample of 
the first heat of basic open-hearth steel March 8th, 1888. 
which had been drawn out, under a hammer and found 
its composition as follows : 

Analysis of the first heat of basic open-hearth steel made 
in Alabama, at North Birmingham, March 8, 1888 : 

Silicon 0.023 per ct. 

Sulphur 0.014 

Phosphorus.. . 0.038 

Manganese 0.144 

Combined Carbon 0.484 

Graphitic Carbon 0.095 



» • 

• ••'•• • 
• • . * • 



BASIC 3T9BL AND BAS^O IRO^. 295 

The report of tliQ committee alao stated that the phys- 
ical te$t8 of the steel they examined were as follows— 
plate fxX. 

4-in. sect. 8-in. sect. 
Lbs. Lbs. 

Ultimate tensile strength per sq. in . . 48,110 48,460 

Elastic limit per sq. inch 32,030 32,275 

Reduction of area 54.7 perct. 57.4 perct. 

Elongation 32.0 *' 28.0 perct. 

A sprue of the first group of ingots was forged into a 
bar 1 inch square, and was bent when cold, with a 
sledge until perfectly folded. Not the slightest flaw 
could be detected at the fold. 

Excellent razors and knives were also made of this 
steel, and some of them are still in use in Birmingham. 
It is, therefore, to be concluded that the first basic open 
hearth furnace in Alabama, and one of the first in the 
United States, beginning operations in March, 1888, 
made excellent steel of native materials. The process 
was handicapped with white pig iron high in sulphur 
and of irregular composition, as also by lack of experi- 
ence on the part of the operators, and many other ob- 
stacles besetting a new enterprise, but the promoters 
had the courage of conviction, and went as far as their 
means would permit. They are entitled to and should 
receive the highest commendations for what they did, 
for they laid the foundations of the steel industry in 
this State. The times were not ripe for the commercial 
success of the enterprise then, and it was not until the 
middle of i897 that they seemed to hold out promise of 
fruition . 

The Jefferson Steel Company succeeded the Hender- 
json Company, and operated the North Birmingham 
furnace in 1892 and 1893, making, perhaps, 1600 tons 
of steel, under the management of Ernst Prochaska. 



296 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

The operations were suspended during the summer ^ 

1893. Here the matter rested as to Birmingham unt;::: 

1897, for the crude experiments carried on under itz: 

Hawkins process at North Birmingham in 1895 can nczz 

fairly be included in a historical sketch of the rise en 

the steel industry here. 

The amount of basic open hearth steel made at Birno* 

ingham, all of native materials, except as to spiegeL 

ferro-manganese and fluorspar, up to July 22nd, 1897 

would not exceed 3500 tons, if indeed it. is above 300C 

tons. 

Basic Open-hearth St'iel at Fort Payne, 

Steel was next made at Fort Payne, but in spite oJ 
repeated inquiries no definite information could be se- 
cured. 

BIRMINGHAM ROLLING MILL COMPANY. 

In 1897 the Birmingham Rolling Mill Company, 
which had been in successful operation for a number of 
years, and which of late had been buying steel billets 
in Pennsylvania and rolling them into shape here, took 
up the matter. The citizens of Birmingham subscribed 
to the undertaking to the amount of $40,000 and the 
first basic open hearth furnace went in July 22nd, 1897, 
being followed by the second on October 25th. Both 
furnaces were designed and built by S. R. Smythe & Co., 
Pittsburg, Pa., with a capacity of 35 tons each to the 
charge. The iron used was the basic iron made at the 
Alice furnace, within 200 yards of the mill. The quality 
of the metal has been and is now of an excellent quality, 
as the following analyses of the first 245 heats will 
show, in respect of chemical composition. 

The chemical composition of the metal is given in the 
following tables : 



. • • " ^ * 
I ' ' 



BASIC STEBL AND BASIC IRON. 297 

-A^nalyses of the first 245 heats of basic open-hearth 
steel made by the Birmingham Rolling Mill Company, 
Birmingham, Alabama, from July 22nd to December 
31st, inclusive, 1897. 

SULPHUR. 

Heats. % 

0.015 to 0.020 31= 12.7 

0.020 " 0.025 69== 28.1 

0.025 " 0.030 81= 33.1 

0.030 " 0.035 33= 13.5 

0.035 "0.040 17= 7.0 

0.040 "0.045 8= 3.2 

0.045 "0.050 2= 0.8 

0.050 " 0.055 1= 0.4 

0.055 " 060 1= 0.4 

O.060 " 0.065 2= 0.8 

245 

Average sulphur 0.028% 

PHOSPHORUS. 

Heats. % 

O.OOl to 0.005 100= 40.8 

0.005 "0.010 ; 49= 20.0 

0.010 "0.015 15= 6.1 

0.015 "0.020 16= 6.5 

0.020 "0.025 18= 7.3 

0.025 "0.030 13= 5.3 

0.030 "0.035 8= 3.3 

O.035 "0.040 5= 2 

• 0,040 "0.045 6= 2.4 

O.045 " 0.050 3= 1.2 

0.050 " 0.055 1= 0.4 

0.055 "0.060 4= 1.6 



298 GBOLOOICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 

0.060 *' 0.065 2— 0.8 

0.065 '' 0.070 1= 0.4 

090 '' 0.095 1=^ ' 0.4 

0.095 " 0.100 1— 0.4 

0.100 '* 0.150 1= 0.4 

0.150 '* 0.200 1= 0.4 

245 

Average phosphorus 0.012 % 

Average manganese, 0.45. 
*' carbon. . . . 0.18. 
'' silicon 0.008. 

It will be seen that in 181 heats out of 245, or 73. 9* 
per cent., the sulphur reached a maximum of 0.030 per 
cent., while in 64 heats, or 26.1 per cent., it was above 
0.030 per cent. In only 14 heats out of 245, or 5.6 per 
cent., was it above 0.040 per cent. 

In a list of sulphur estimations in basic open hearth 
steel, given by H. H. Campbell (Manufacture and Prop- 
erties of Structural Steel, 1896, pp. 321 and 322), the 
number of heats examined was 973. Of these, 255- 
heats, or 26.2 per cent., showed a maximum sulphur of 
0.030 per cent., while 618, or 63.5 per cent., gave sul- 
phur above 0.030 per ceni. 

The conditions as to sulphur are then seen to be in 
the case of the Birmingham steel almost the reverse or 
those maintaining in the basic steel quoted by Mr. 
Campbell. In the Birmingham steel 73.9 per cent, of 
the heats showed a maximum sulphur of 0.030 per cent., 
while in the steels quoted by Mr. Campbell, and pre- 
sumably of northern make, there were 63.5 per cent. 
above 0.030 per cent, in sulphur. 

In the Birmingham steel there were 26.1 per cent, of^ 
the heats with sulphur above 0.030 per cent., as against- 



BASIC STSBJii AND B.A81)C IRON. 299 

63.5 per cent, iu the other Bteel^. 

Furtherimore, in Mr. Campbeirs steels there were 143 
heats out of 973, or 14.7 per cent., in which the sulphur 
was above 0.040 per cent, as against 14 heats out of 
245, or 5.6 per cent., of Birmingham steel, and in Mr. 
Campbell's steels there were 87 heats out of 973, or 8.9 
per cent., in which the sulphur was above 0.050 per 
cent., as against 4 out of 245, or 1.6 per cent., in the 
Birmingham steel. 

It is, however, in respect of phosphorus that the chief 
obstacles were encountered and successfully overcome. 

The sulphur may be considered an element whose 
maximum in the steel may be more easily controlled 
than that of phosphorus, especially when the pig iron 
used is low in sulphur. If the maximum sulphur in 
the pig iron is 0.050 per cent, the removal of 50 pe^ 
cent, would cause the steel to carry from this source , 
0.025 per cent. But with phosphorus at 0.75 per cent, 
in the pig iron 86.6 per cent, must be removed to bring 
the steel down to 0.10 per cent, the maximum allowable 
under most circumstances, while 93.3 per cent, must be 
removed to bring it to 0.05 per cent. 

Basic open hearth steel has been made in Birming- 
ham of pig iron, pit scrap and ore, in which the phos- 
phorus was below 0.050 per cent, and in some cases be- 
low 0.010 per cent. The phosphorus estimations given 
in the preceding lists are of steel made with various 
mixtures of pig iron and scrap and ore, and there is 
practically no difference between them. An examina- 
tion of the list shows that 149 heats out of 245, or 60.8 
percent, gave a maximum phosphorus of 0.010 per cent, 
while 180 heats out of 245, or 73.4 percent, gave a max- 
imum phosphorus of 0.020 per cent. Putting the phos- 
phorus limit in the very highest grade of basic open- 
hearth steel at 0.080 per cent, we find that 86 per cent. 



300 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

of the heats showed a maximum of this amount, and 
40.8 percent, of the heats the maximum phosphorU-s^ 
was 0.005 per cent. 

In the results given by Mr. Campbell ( ut supra) we 
find that in 157 heats out of 973, or 16.1 per cent the 
maximum phosphorus was 0.010 per cent, as against 
60.8 percent in the Birmingham steel with a maximum 
of 0.010 per cent. In the northern steels there were 770 
heats out of 973, or 79.1 per cent, in which the maxi- 
mum phosphorus was 0.020 per cent, as against 73.4 
per cent, in the Birmingham steel with a maximum of 
0.020 per cent. The percentage of heats in the north- 
ern steels with maximum phosphorus 0.020 per cent, is 
somewhat higher than in the Birmingham steel. In 
the northern metal there were no heats in which the 
phosphorous was below 0.005 per cent. while, as before 
stated of the Birmingham steel 40.8 per cent, of the 
heats had maximum phosphorous 0.005 per cent. 

Of the northern steels there were 898 heats out of 973, 
or 92.3 per cent, with maximum phosphorus 0.030 per 
cent, as against 86 per cent in the Birmingham steel. 
But when one considers the number of the heats of north- 
steel in which the phosphorus is above 0.030 percent it 
is found that they are 75 out of 978, or 7.7 percent, 
while the corresponding percentage in the Birmingham, 
steel is 13.7, nearly twice as many. 

Taking everythiug into consideration, however, with 
due regard to the newness of the conditions surround- 
ing the production of steel in Birmingham, and the fact 
that the results here given are from many different 
mixtures in the furnace we conclude that in chemical 
composition the steel compares very favorably with stan- 
dard makes of northern steel, and that the severest 
-specifications could be successfully met. 

The following table gives the results of the examina- 



BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON. 



301 



tion of some basic open hearth steel plates made by the 
Birmingham Rolling mill, for elastic limit, tensile 
strength, elongation and reduction. All the chemical 
analyses, as well as the physical tests were made by Mr. 
David Hancock and the writer in the Phillips Testing 
Laboratory, Birmingham. 

TABLE XLV. 

Giving Physical Tests of Basic Open Hearth Steel Plates made by^ 
the Birmingham Rolling Company, 1897 — 1898. 



Specimen of 
Plate. 

Size. 


Elas. Limit 
Lbs. 


Ten. Str. 
Lbs 


Elongation 
in 8 Inch per 


Reduct 
of area 


Per sq. Inch. 


Persq. Inch 


Cent. 


Per Cent. 


5-16 inch. 


35.380 


65,600 


25.7 


49.6 


5-16 inch. 


34,720 


62,440 


27.2 


52.6 


5-16 inch. 


35,200 


63,720 


27.5 


51.5 


5-16 inch. 


33.300 


58,290 


26.0 


49.6 


5-8 inch. 


33,930 


57.900 


:5.0 


53.0 


5-8 inch. 


28 900 


53,680 


32.5 


51.0 


5-8 inch. 


31,040 


52,510 


27.0 


52.8 


5-8 inch. 


32,360 


53,390 


31.7 


56.5 


7-16 inch. 


31,400 


50,520 


32.0 


64.0 


7-18 inch. 


32,360 


50,650 


?0.7 


61.6 


7-18 inch. 


29,960 


51.130 


30.0 


60.8 


7-16 inch. 


32.790 


53,960 


27.2 


57.4 


7-16 inch. 


32.760 


53,360 


26.5 


55.7 


7-16 inch. 


32,260 


53,420 


30.5 


58.0 


1-4 inch. 


39,560 


58,420 


27.8 


53.1 


1-4 inch. 


41,450 


57,260 


25.0 


54.9 


1-4 inch. 


43,040 


64,380 


25.0 


55.1 


1-4 inch. 


43,470 


63,310 


25.0 


50.6 


1-4 inch. 


44,280 


58,480 


26.7 


55.8 


1-4 inch. 


44,850 


57,490 


26.0 


54.9 


1-4 inch. 


43,590 


56,680 


26.0 


54.9 


l?iround. 


32,680 


50,520 


82.5 


63.5 


I^round. 


37.560 


58,940 


30.0 


53.9 



The plates tested were 16 inches longoVer all, 8 inches 
long and 2 inches wide between fillets, with a fillet ra- 
dius of li inches. They were pulled on a 200,000 
Eiehle Testing Machine, with automatic extensometer 
and electric registration, the elongation being after- 



302 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

wards checked by measurements. Numerous otl»- 
tests might be given but is is thought that these will 
sufficient to show the quality of the material made frc^ 
the basic iron of the Birmingham district. Up to tl 
1st. of May 1898, 500 heats had been made and the t^ 
furnaces are now in active operations. The material 
made into boiler and tank plates, fire-box sheets, rouui 
flats and squares, and is sold under specifications as XC^ 
chemical composition and physical tests. 

It is certainly excellent work even for an old estab- 
lished steel works to make basic open-hearth steel of 
such quality that in 245 heats practically 74 per cent, 
contained a maximum amount of sulphur of 0.030 per 
cent, and 86 per cent, a maximum of 0.030 per cent, of 
phosphorus. These results have been reached in Birm- 
ingham by the first open-hearth furnaces on regular run, 
and have been extended over nearly six months. 

Can they be continued indefinitely? Are these results 
typical of what may reasonably be expected in the fu- 
ture? Were there any favorable conditions surrounding 
these 245 heats from July 22d to December 31st, that 
would not maintain in any number? These are vital ques- 
tions, and upon the answers to them depend the future 
of the manufacture of basic steel in Alabama, as, indeed, 
in the entire South, for if this steel cannot be made in 
Alabama, it cannot be made anywhere south of the 
Potomac river. 

In the Birmingham district, as, indeed, everywhere 
else, there are two aspects of the steel industry — techni- 
cal and commercial. While the metal produced may be 
of the best quality so far as concerns chemical and phys- 
ical tests, and while assurance may be given that the 
raw materials, of which the pig iron is made, exist in 
very large quantities, yet, after all, the main question 
is, whether the steel can secure and hold a profitable 
market. 



BASIC STSSL AND BASIC IRON. 303 

Technically the basic open-hearth steel made at Birm- 
ingham is of a superior quality. The pig iron, which is 
the chief constituent, can be made here at a less cost 
than anywhere in the United States. These are facts 
beyond dispute. But they are not the only considera- 
tions which affect the establishment and development of 
the steel industry in Alabama. It is comparatively 
easy to convince even the most skeptical that excellent 
steel can be, has been, and is today, made here in quan- 
tities that fully warrant the assertion that the matter 
has long since passed the experimental stage. What is 
to be done with the metal after it is made? Can steel- 
makers in Alabama enter the steel market and obtain 
for their product the footing now enjoyed by Alabama 
pig iron, for instance? These are questions which only 
the lapse of time can fully answer. An industry may 
be established technically, and that within a compara- 
tively short time, while its establishment commercially 
may be protracted through a number of years. This is 
is a matter which in some of its aspects is disconnected 
from the quality of the metal, and depends not only upon 
the management, but also and particularly upon the 
especial kind of competition which the metal has to 
meet. 

In rectangular shapes, in rounds, in tank and boiler 
plate, in sheets, in structural material and agricultural 
steel, the competition varies according to circumstances, 
and a fully equipped plant must be able to enter the 
market offering the best inducements for each class of 
goods . 

These are matters, however, which may be left to take 
care Of themselves. Once established, the two facts that 
excellent steel is made here, and that the chief materials 
of its production are obtained in the district, and the 



304 GBOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

growth of the industry follows in accordance with the- 
usual laws of industrial development. 

With the exception of the magnesite for the lining of 
the furnaces and fluorspar, there is not a single material 
which cannot be furnished either in the Birmingham^ 
district or within easy reach of it. 

Manganese ore for ferro-manganese and spiegel, iron 
ore for basic pig, ferro-silicon and "fix," limestone for 
flux, can all be obtained here as cheaply as at any point 
in the United States. With large works there might be 
some diSiculty in securing wrought and steel scrap to 
supplement the scrap produced at the plant itself, but 
excellent steel has been made here without' the use or 
outside scrap. It is not necessary to use the pig and 
scrap process, for the pig and ore process has been used 
with very satisfactory results. Speaking from a full knowl- 
edge of the subject and with due regard to the emergen- 
cies that may arise, it is asserted that there is not a sin- 
gle thing required in the manufacture of steel that can- 
not be produced here with the exception of magnesite 
and fluorspar. 

This statement may cause some surprise, for while it 
is known that basic iron, which is the chief raw material 
for the steel-maker, is made here, yet it is not known 
that ore for ferro-manganese, ferro-silicon, spiegel and 
"fix'* can be obtained in Alabama. It has been sup- 
posed that the resources of the State were limited to the 
pig iron and the limestone , but this is not true. There- 
is no special ore needed for ferro-silicon, and it can be 
made of Red Mt. ores quite as readily as from the ore 
now used elsewhere. Ten years ago, without any spe- 
cial effort to make high-silicon iron, it was made here 
with 7 per cent, of silicon, and this amount can be in- 
creased to 10 percent, if a su£Scient demand should arise*. 
As to ferro-manganese and spiegel, manganese ores of 44 



BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON . 305^ 

t 

to 48 per cent, of manganese can be delivered in Birm- 
ingham for $8 a ton, while the deposits of magnetic 
ore not yet utilized can be drawn upon for materiali 
carrying 60 per cent, of iron to be used in the pig andi 
ore process. But failing this, brown ore has already 
been used with good results. 

As to basic iron, the industry has been established here 
two and a-half years. The iron has been shipped to the. 
following steel makers : 

Aliquippa Steel Co Pittsburg, Pa.. 

American Steel F. Co. ; St. Louis, Mo.. 

Apollo I. & S. Co Pittsburg, Pa. 

A. & P. Roberts Co Pencoyd, Pa. 

Birmingham Rolling Mill Co Birmingham, Ala. 

Builders' Iron Foundry Boston, Mass.. 

Burgess S. & I. Co Portsmouth, Ohio. 

Carnegie Steel Co. Ltd Pittsburg, Pa. 

Cleveland Roiling Mill Co Cleveland, Ohio. 

DeFour & Bruzzo Italy. 

DeKalb Company Fort Payne, Ala.. 

Elmira I. & S. R. M. Co Elmira, N.Y. 

Granite City Steel Co E. St. Louis, Mo. 

Illinois Steel Co . Chicago, 111. 

Jefferson Steel & Mfg. Co Birmingham, Ala. 

Jones & Laughlins, Ltd Pittsburg, Pa. 

Kellogg Weldless Tube Co Findlay, Ohio. 

Kirkpatrick & Co Pittsburg, Pa. 

Midland Steel Co Muncie, Ind. 

Mt. Vernon Car Mfg. Co Mt. Vernon, 111. 

Nashua I. & S. Co Nashua, New Hr.mpshire. 

Naylor & Co Pittslurg, Pa. 

Otis Steel Co. Ltd Cleveland, Ohio. 

Pacific R. M. Co San Francisco, Cal. 

Park Bros Pittsburg, Pa. 

20 



306 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

Passaic Rolling Mill Patterson, N. J. 

St. Charles Car Co St. Charles, Mo. 

Shickle, Harrison & Howard St. Louis, Mo. 

Societe H. F. F. do Feme Italv. 

Spang B. c& I. Co Pittsburg, Pa. 

Watson, Jas. & jCo., Agents Glasgow, Scotland. 

The quality of the basic iron made in the Birmingham 
district is best shown in an article prepared by the wri- 
ter for The Mineral Industry, Vol. V., The Scientific 
Publishing Co., N, Y., 1896. With some corrections 
and additions it is given here, with the understanding 
that if anything the quality of the iron therein described 
has improved during 1897. At any rate there has been 
no detorioration . 

Basic iron of this quality can be furnished here regu- 
larly and in any desired quantity. 

THE MANUFACTURE OF BASIC IRON IN 

ALABAMA. 

From the Mineral Industry, Vol. V., 1896. 

^(By Permission of the Scientific Publishing Company, N. Y.) 

The production of basic pig iron for the open-hearth 
steel furnace has become an important industry in the 
United States. It has had a rapid growth in Northern 
and Central iron and steel districts, and is recognized as 
a competitor of the Bessemer and aci i open-hearth pro- 
cesses. The competition will probably become, in the 
immediate future, still more formidable. The discovery 
in Minnesota of enormous deposits of non-Bessemer iron 
ore, which can be cheaply mined and transported, must 
lead to the establishment of basic pig and steel plants in 
the Northwest, because the exhaustion of the more ac- 



BASIC STBBL AND BASIC IBON. 307 

cessible Bessemer ores of the Lake regions steadily and 
rapidly proceeds by the increased demands made upon 
them. Indeed, it is an open question if we have not 
seen the high-water mark of the output of Bessemer and, 
other acid steels. 

So long as an abundant supply of Bessemer ore was 
assured at fair prices, the attention of the steel-makers 
was, in a measure, restricted to ores which would yield 
pig iron containing not more than 0.10 per cent, of phos- 
phorus. The extraordinary development of the demand 
for steel rails, bridge aod structural steel of great 
strength and ductility, and above all the growing disuse 
of wrought iron, have combined to stimulate the produc- 
tion of Bessemer steel. But it has now been conclusive- 
ly proved that this old favorite can no longer hold the 
field it once occupied. 

It is no longer a sine qua non for the making of good 
steel that ore of less than 0.05 parts of phosphorus per 
50 parts of iron shall be used, and consequently it is 
toward the more phosphoritic ores that attention is bei«ig 
directed. This is well, for assuredly, it would not^ be 
wise to wait until the price of Bessemer steel, due to the 
increasing scarcity of Bessemer ores, should bring us 
into an awkward situation. Hence, more interest is 
manifested in the manufacture and use of basic steel 
than ever before, and by far the greater tonnage of steel 
works built during the last three years consists of basic 
open-hearth. 

Some may argue that the investments in the non-Bes- 
semer Lake ores are compelling capitalists to provide an 
outlet for their product. There may be a modicum of 
truih in this, but the non-jBes^emer ores could not be 
sold to steel-makers at any price if it were not perfectly 
feasible to utilize them, not merely for mixing with 
other ores, but of and for themselves. 



308 OBOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

Two classes of ore represent the extremes of chemical 
composition in respect to their applicability to steel- 
making — the high-grade Bessemer ores with phosphorus 
below 0.05 per cent., and the highly phosphoritic ores 
with phosphorus not below 1 per cent. The first find 
their adaptation in the acid Bessemer and the acid open- 
hearth processes, the latter for the most part in the basia 
Bessemer or Thomas process. Between them lie fullj- 
three-fourths of the iron ore deposits of the world— ores 
which yield pig iron carrying from 0.10 per cent, to 1.0 
per cent, of phosphorus. In this country the Thomaa- 
process, based on the use of pig iron containing from 2 
to 3 per cent, of phosphorus, has had a very limited ap- 
plication. The Pottstown Iron Company, Pottstown^ 
Pa., was, until this year, when the Troy Steel and Iroa 
Company began operations, the only establishment that 
attempted its manufacture on a large scale. The qual- 
ity of the steel made was excellent, and there was a fair 
market for the slag as a phosphatic fertilizer, but the use 
of this process has not been extended, and practically all 
the eteel made in the United States, over 6,000,000 tons* 
annually, has been made from pig iron of less than O.IO 
per cent., or not more than 1.0 per cent, of phosphorus. 
Unfortunately the exact statististics cannot be secured, 
since the production of acid open-hearth and basic open- 
hearth steel are not given separately, but it is well 
known that a very large proportion of the increase in 

stool production is to be credited to basic metal. 

The following table, taken from the reports of Jas. M. 

Swank, Manager of the American Iron and Steel Asso- 
ciation, sliows the production of Bessemer steel and 
open hearth steels ingots in the United States from 1877 
to the close of 1896. 



BASIC STBBL AKD BASIC IRON. 



309 



TABLE XLVI. 

"Production of Bessemer Steel and Open Hearth Steel 
Ingots in the United States, Tons of 2240 lbs. 



YEARS. 



:^877 
1878 
1879 
1880 
1881 
1882 
1883 
1884 
1885 
1886 
1887 
1888 
1889 
1890 
1891 
1892 
1893 
1894 
1895 
1896 
1897 



Bessemer 
Steel Ingots. 



Open-hearth 
Steel Ingots. 



500,524 
653,773 
829,439 
1,074,262 
1,374,247 
1,514,687 
1,477.845 
1,375,531 
1,519,430 
2,269,190 
2,936,033 
2.511,161 
2,930,204 
3,688.871 
3,247,417 
4,168,435 
S2I5.H-6 
3,571,313 
4,909,128 
3,919,906 



22,349 

32,265 

50,259 

100.851 

131,202 

143 ,341 

119,356 

117,515 

133,376 

218,973 

322,069 

314,318 

374,543 

513,232 

579,753 

669,889 

737,890 

784,936 

1,137,182 

1,298,700 

1,«08,671 



In these figures are included the production of direct 



castings. 



One can not fail to be impressed with the remarkable 
increase in the production of open-hearth steel during 
the last few years , and allthough by. no means all of 
this steel is basic open-hearth, yet the increase is very 
largely duetto the^extension of this process. 



diO GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

The development of this process has been the special 
feature of the steel trade during the last seven years. 

"the purpose of the preterit paper is to direct attention 
to the manufacture of pig iron suitable for the basic 
open-hearth steel process from materials not hitherta 
considered as very promising, viz ; the ores, fluxes and 
fuels of Alabama. 

The manufacture of ordinary grades of foundry, mill 
and pipe iron in this state is established on a firm foun- 
dation, but it was not until 1895, that it was proved 
that pig iron suitable for steel making could be made 
here regularly and on any desired scale. It has been 
thought best to restrict these remarks to the Birming- 
ham district in Alabama, because it is here that the pro- 
duction of basic iron has attained its largest proportions ,. 
and that a great number of analysis of stock and pro- 
duct have been made for a year or more. While it is 
true that furnaces elsewhere in the South especially in 
Virginia, have made basic H'on, and can do so success- 
fully it is believed that the results will not difi*er essen- 
tially, except as to cost, from those on record here. The 
analysis of the tables of production and cost accounts 
covering 75,000 tons of basic iron in the BirminghamL 
district will represent the industry as favorably as can 
be expected a^y where in the South. 

It is assuEJied that the vital difi*erence between any 
two districts in the South would be in respect of cosf.^ 
and not of quality. The quality of the iron made would 
depend to a great extent upon the specification of the 
contract, for it is obvious that if these are severe the risk 
of increased percentages of costs not suitable for ship- 
iiieiit, as also the cost piroductioh, would become greater^ 

Generally speaking, SbuttlBrh itbri men at present and 
Southern steel men in the ^iitufe must work with ores 
that put frdrii 5.3tf^ to 0.80% of phosphorus irf £he 



BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON. 311 

iron. The ores are much too high in phosphorus for 
Bessemer metal and much too low in phosphorus for 
Thomas metal. 

The southern iron trade has been marvellously de- 
veloped during riie past ten or fifteen years, and the 
costs of production have been forced to a point not an- 
ticipated by the keenest observers, but it has been built 
up on material not intended for steel works, but for 
foundries, mills, and pipe works. 

It is to the same iron that we must look if we are to 
make steel. There must be less silicon and less sulphur 
in the iron, elements within easy control of an experien- 
ced furnaceman, but otherwise it will be the same iron 
as is made evtry day. It will be, and it must be made 
from local materials, and in the same furnaces and by 
the same men as the present iron. It will differ in com- 
position only, and the difference will not very great, 
after all. Under specifications likely to continue, the 
maximum silicon must be 1 per cent, the maximum sul-. 
phur 0.050 per cent, with phosphorus about 0.75 per 
cent, although this latter element may, at times, not ex- 
ceed 0.60 per cent. For the most part, however, the 
phosphorus will vary from 0.75 per cent, to 0.85 per 
cent. Tr.e amount of phosphorus allowable in basic 
stock is to some extent controlled by the exigencies of the 
trade, and is subject to greater variation than either 
silicon or sulphur. In many cases it may reach 1.0 per 
cent, and considerable shipments have been made with 
this as a maximum, while on the other hand larger ship- 
ments have been made with a maximum of 0.75 per 
cent. 

If concentrates or other rich ores were used in the 
blast furnaces, the phosphorus in the pig would be 
lowered, not because the phosphorus is removed from 
the ore, but because th^ amount of ore required per toa 



312 GEOLOaiCAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

of iron is lessened. For instance, if it requires 2.30 tons 
of ore per ton of iron, and the ore contains 0.32 per cent* 
of phosphorus, we would expect to find in the iron, from 
the ore alone, 0.73 per cent, of phosphorus. But if the 
amount of ore per ton of iron were reduced to 2 tons, the 
phosphorus remaining the same, there would be 0.64 per 

cent in the iron. 

It is well known that Alabama ores, so far as ex- 
plored, can not be used in the production of Besse- 
mer iron. Isolated bodies of brown ore (limonite,) and 
perhaps some of the magnetites, may be suitable for 
this purpose, but no one who has had experience with 
such ores here would think of founding upon them an 
industry of this kind, for they are unreliable in compo- 
sition. The brown ores are generally richer in iron 
than the hematites, and are almost always lower in sili- 
ca. In the production of basic iron they are of great 
importance, as will hereinafter appear. Alabama is 
devoid of Bessemer ore in large quantities, so far as is 
now known, and it is also not to be considered as a 
source of ore suitable for Thomas pig, unless certain de- 
posits of high phosphorus hematites, red and brown, not_ 
fully explored, should be found to be workable. Some 
of the fossiliferous ores of the Clinton formation contain 
from 1.5 per* cent to 5. per cent of phosphorus, and 
would be suitable for the production of Thomas pig, if 
-concentrated. They carry from 35 to 40 per cent of iron, 
aii«l about the same amount of silica. By the use of 
tliH Wetheriil process they can be concentrated to 50 per 
cent of iron, and even above. 

Such ore^ as can be obtained here for years to come, 
s<> far as is positively known, can be made into steel only 
hv the ba^i*^- opt^n-hearth. Even the duplex process^ 
wirh its morn or less successful conjoining of the Bes* 
s» inor and the open-hearth, must be excluded in the lights 



BA8I0 STEBL AND BASIC IRON. 313 

x>f the experience of the last twelve months. There is 
BO need to desiliconize the pig iron after it has come 
from the furnace, or even to desulphurize it. These 
operations can be conducted in the blast furnace itself 
with a certainty and a regularity that renders any fur- 
ther experiments with desiliconizing and desulphurizing 
"processes wholly unnecessary. In the interval between 
the production of the first basic iron, on regular orders, 
ia 1888, and the fall of 1895, when large orders were 
taken under stringent specifications, there was more or 
less doubt, even among the best informed and most pro-r 
gressive iron men, as to the possibility of producing 
iirst-class basic iron from local materials. There was al- 
"vvays the reservation of the use of some desiliconizing 
&nd desulphurizing process to be applied to the iron after 
it had left the furnace. It is true that some basic iron 
"was made here in the spring of 1888 for use in the 
^c) called Headerson basic open-hearth furnace at North 
irmingliam ; and again in the winter of 1892, and the 
ring of 1893, for the Jefferson Steel Company, success- 
:• to the Henderson, but the orders were not larg*^, and 
"tihe iron was made almost exclusively from brown ore. 
When it became possible to secure large orders it was 
:recognized that the iron could not be made frombrown 
-ore, because an adequate supply was not obtainable, and 
evenif it had been, the cost of all-brown ore iron would 
have wiped out the profit. There may be places in the 
Smth, or even ia Alabami, where brown ore can bese- 
-cured in such quantity and of such quality and price as to 
warrant its exclusive use for basic iron, but Birmingham 
is not one. of them. If pig iron suitable for conversion 
into steel can not be made in the Birmingham district 
of local red hematite in admixture with brown ore, the 
^commercial manufacture of steel from Birmingham iron 



814 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

can not be accomplished, either here or elsewhere. 

The true significance of the production of the 75,000 
tons of basic iron made here during the first year lies^ 
not in the fact that it was made at a cost that allowed 
it to be sent to distant markets, but in the fact that it 
was made of ores that can be and are produced here 
every day in the year, and that can be laid down in the 
stockhouses for 00 cents, and $1.00 per ton. The pro- 
duction of these 75,0C0 tons of basic iron is, therefore,, 
one of the noteworthy occurrences in the development 
of the iron and steel industrv of the United States. 

Perhaps the commonest criticism of Alabama iron 
was that it carried too much silicon rather than too little. 
With the silvery irons showing over 5 per cent, of this 
element, and the foundry grades, at times, ranging from 
2.50 per cent, to 3.25 per cent., the tendency was to- 
ward high-grade softeners, with sulphur from 0.030 per 
cent, to 0.050 per cent. When the furnaces were work- 
ing cold, and mill and mottled irons were made, the 
difficulty was to keep the sulphur down. When th^ 
silicon fell to less than 1.50 per cent, the sulphur in- 

4 

creased, and when the silicon was below 1 per cent. th^. 
sulphur was generally above 0.10 per cent. 

This was the situation in August, 1895, when it was 
asked if large orders for basic iron could be taken under 
the following specifications: Maximum silicon, 1.0 per 
cent ; maximum sulphur, 0.050 per cent; maximum phos- 
phorus, 1 per cent, in a few cases, 0.85 per cent, in some,, 
and 0.75 per cent, in most cases. 

After careful consideration the orders were taken, and 
during th^ last thirteen nw^nths (September, 1896, t0 
September, 1896, inclusive) , every cast has been ana- 
lysed for silicon, sulphur and phosphorus; very large 
shipments have been made, and not a single carload has 
been rejected. Considering the nature of the ores used^ 



BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON. 3l5 

the irregularity of the stock, and the inevitable mishaps 
attendant on the prosecution of ^a new business, the suc- 
cess attained was certainly remarkable. Excluding the 
relatively small percentage of costs that showed either 
too much silicon or too much sulphur, the average sili- 
con, sulphur and phosphorus in 1188 casts was as fol- 
lows : Silicon, 0.51 per cent; sulphur, 0.032 per cent; 
and phosphorus, 0.72 per cent. Of manganese the 
metal carried about 0.50 per cent., graphitic carbon 2.75 
to 3 per cent, and combined carbon 0.60 to 0.80 per 
cent. 

Ore. 

The ore used was of three kinds, no single one being 
used exclusively, and for the most part the three to- 
gether, viz : hard or limy ore, soft or lime-free ore — 
these two being hematites, — and brown ore, or limonite. 

Hard^ or Limy Ore. 

This is the red fossiliferous hematite of the Clinton 
formation, occurs in large quantities, and is mined at 
distances varying from 3 to 12 miles from Birmingham. 
It is the soft ore under cover, and is taken from the 
same general workings. 

It carries in its best estate — 

% 

Moisture 0.50 

Metallic iron 37.00 

Silica 13.44 

Lime 16.20 

Alumina 3.18 

Phosphorus 0.37 

Sulphur 0.07 

Carbonic acid 12.24 




316 OBOLOaiCAL SUBVAY OF ALABAMA. 

In places it carries 6 per cent, more of lime than i 
here given, with less iron. For the most part it carrier 
enough lime to flux its own silica , although occasionallj 
there is a deficiency of lime. If it were always self- ^ 
fluxing it would be of greater value, but even when the 
silica is in excess of the lime there is required much 
less eitra flux, in the shape of limestone or dolomite, 
than when soft ore or brown ore is used. 

It is necessary to keep a close watch over the hard 
ore, even from the same mine, on account of the lime- 
silica ratio and the decrease of the iron with the in- 
crease of the lime, or the silica. 

Some hard ores carry from 3 per cent, to 6 per cent, 
more lime than silica and alumina, and in some the re- 
verse is true, and it is necessary to know the composi- 
tion in order to proportion the amount of extra flux re- • 
quired. Some furnaces in the district not, however, ^ 
making a specialty of basic iron, use no extra flux at ^ 
all, the lime of the hard ore being suflBcient to flux not ^ 
only the acid constituents of the ore burden but those of "^ 
the coke also. In such cases, of course, the lime in the^ 
ore is in considerable excess of the silica iu the ore. 

The desiliconizing and desulphurizing action main- 
tained in the blast furnace depends upon the basicity o^ 
the slag, and this, in turn, conditions the fusibility of 
the slag. The action of the basic slag in the furnace 
upon the iron that trickles down through it may be 
compared to certain desiliconizing and desulphurizing 
processes for the treatment of pig iron on its way from 
the blast furnace to the steel furnace. Instead of pour- 
ing molten pig iron, whether taken direct from the 
furnace, or remelted, through a bath of basic 
material, and removing the silicon and sulphur in this 
manner, the process is carried on in the blast furnace 
itself, and there is no longer a necessity for an interme- 



BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON. 317 

k 

diate process, whether desiliconizing or desulphurizing . 
We do not speak of the improvement in the iron due to 
the substitution of cast-iron moulds for sand moulds, 
but only of essential changes in the body of the iron 
due to the elimination of certain impurities. It is in 
respect of the basicity of the slag that the intelligent 
use of hard ore becomes so important. The better 
grades of this ore are excellent in one respect, they con- 
tain the flux in a state of perfect admixture with the 
material to be fluxed. No artificial mixture of lime and 
oxide of iron, with such impurities as are always pres- 
ent, could be any better than, if indeed so good as, the 
ore which nature has prepared. It is doubtful, if in the 
entire range of ores, there is one better adapted natu- 
lallv for the manufacture of basic iron than the better 
grades of the limy ore of the Clinton formation. 

The Softy or Lime- free Ore, 

An average analysis of this ore, as used for basic iron, 
is as follows : 

Moisture 7.00 

Metallic iron. . 47.24 

Silica 17.20 

Lime 1.12 

Alumina 3 .35 

• Phosphorus 0.30 

Sulphur 0.06 

By far the greater part of the coke iron made in Ala- 
bama has been produced from ore mixtures carrying 
large proportions of soft ore. There was a time, 10 to 
12 years ago, when but little limy ore was used, its value 
not having been recognized, and once when it was 
struck, in sinking a slope on the soft ore«the mine oper- 



818 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

rators were disposed to abandon the property, thinking 
that the ore had given out. 

The cheapness of che soft ore, 10 to 20 cents a ton less 
than the limy ore, and the fact of its carrying from 10 
to 15 per cent, more iron, caused its general employ- 
ment. It is quarried rather than mined, as nearly all 
of the workings are in open cut by the bench system. 
At some places regular mining operations are conducted 
underground, the soft ore, as indeed is always the 
case with the limy ore, being won by drift, slope, pillar, 
and room. But the quantity of soft ore obtained under 
cover is trifling compared with what is in eflFect quar- 
ried in the open air. The seams vary in thickness from 
4 to 20 feet, the thinner seams being worked only when 
the iron is above 50 per cent. The present practice is 
to remove the overburden of soil, slate, sandstone and 
thin seams of ore, that is, from 10 feet to 30 feet, and to 
mine such ore as is suitable. The Big, or Ishkooda 
seam is about-20 feet thick, and the upper 10 feet car- 
ries about 47 per cent, of iron. Below this 10 feet mark 
the seam loses in iron at the rate of about one-half per cent. 
13er foot, and the silica increases rapidly, although there 
is no regular rule governing all localities. But it has 
not been found advisable to mine more than the upper 
10 feet. Under cover the srft ore gradually changes 
into the hard, or limy ore, and when the plane of atmos- 
pheric decomposition is passed, which is at distances 
along th3 dip varying from a few feet to 300 feet' from 
the outcrop the entire seam is limy. The soft ore may, 
therefore, be regarded as the upper part of the hard 
ore from which the lime has been leached out. 

From the very complete records at disposal it must be 
said that the best results in the production of basic iron 
have been attained by the use of the trinity of ores — 
bard, soft and brown, no attempt has been made to pro* 



BASIC STEEL AND BA.SIC IRON. 319 

duce it from hard ore exclusively, on a regular commer- 
<5ial scale, or from hard and brown, or from soft and 
brown. There are results from the use of hard, soft and 
brown, and from hard ore and soft ore, with no brown. 
There is but little good in discussing the adaptability of 
brown ore alone from this purpose, as it is already 
known to be suitable, as also that the cost of production 
"would be considerably higher, even if brown ore could 
be obtained in sufficient quantities. 

The best practice will, therefore, be to continue the 
use of the three ores already .tried, while striving to in- 
crease the proportion of limy ore. 

The low cost of basic iron in the Birmingham district 
is certainly a strong argument for its production here. 
80 long as ore suitable for producing this kind of iron 
can be laid down in the stockhouse for li to 2i cents per 
unit of iron, the manufacture of basic iron mav be com- 
mercially profitable. Whether the manufacture of 
basic steel will follow upon the manufacture of basic 
iron is another question. 

BROWN ORE, OR LIMONITE. 

An average analysis of the brown ore used in the pro- 
duction of basic iron is as follows : 

Per cent. 

Hygroscopic water. 7.00 

Combined water 6.00 

Metallic iron 48.54 

Silic5i 11.22 

Lime 0.84 

Alumina 3.61 

Phosphorus 0.38 

Surphur 0.09 



820 GEOLOGICAL SURVBY OF ALABAMA. 

If carefully mined and washed the brown ore is of 
fairly uniform composition. No calcined brown ore has 
been used in the production of basic iron. Some good 
basic iron was made in 1892-93 from brown ore exclu- 
sively, but of late it has been used to the extent of about 
20 per cent, only. 

Good basic iron has been and can be made without 
using brown ore, but if it be omitted there is an increas- 
ed risk of an excess of both silicon and sulphur. For 
instance, it was found that the best results were ob- 
tained by using an ore buj-den containing 20 per cent, 
of brown ore, irrespective of the percentages of hard and 
soft ore, which may vary within wide limits. So far as 
concerns the ore burdens the records cover a consider- 
able range, from 36.10 per cent hard, 42.0 per cent, soft^ 
and 21.3 per cent, brown, to 64 per cent, hard, 36 per 
cent, soft, and no brown. Of 30,222 tons of iron spec- 
cially examined with reference to the ore burdens on 
which it was made, the brown ore showed the following 
percentages, viz : ; 8.9 ; 10.6 ; 14.5 ; 19.1 ; 20.0 ; 20.1 ; 
20.3 ; 21.1 ; and 21.3. Whenrunningexclusively on hard 
and soft ore the average silicon was 0.68 per cent., the av- 
erage sulphur 0.043 per cent., and the average phos- 
phorus 0.70 per cent. With an ore burden of 52.3 per 
cent, hard, 27.5 per cent, soft, and 20.3 per cent, brown 
ths average silicon was 0.47 per cent., the average sul- 
phur 0.033 per cent., the phosphorus remaining the 
same. 

Iiuportant as are these differences between the silicon 
and the suluhur, thev become even more so when it is 
Stated that the chances of exceeding the 1 per cent, of 
silicon with an ore burden containing no brown ore are 
nearly four times greater than when 20 per cent of brown 
ore is used, and the chances of exceeding 0.050 per cent. 



BASIC STSRL AND BABIC IHON. 821 

sulphur are more than twice as great. Furthermore,, 
the range of both silicon and sulphur is wid^r when 
brown ore is omitted than when 20 per cent, of it is 
used. Lastly, the average consumption of coke per ton 
of iron with no brown ore was 1 53 tons, and with 20' 
per cent, of brown ore it was 1.19 tons. 

The saving of flux with increase of hard ore is a par- 
tial offset to the advantages arising from the admixture 
of brown ore, but after deducting this the balance is de- 
cidedly in favor of the use of brown ore. 

THE FLUXES. 

The basic iron of 1892-93 was made with limestone as 
flux, but during the last 12 months dolomite has been 
exclusively employed in the production of the best 
quality of basic iron, The experience of the last year 
was not favorable to the use of limestone. The basic iron 
fell off in quality, and varied widely in composition, when 
limestone was used. It carried 4 per cent, of silica and 
53 per cent of lime, with 0.40 per cent of oxide of iron 
and 0.60 per cent, of ahimina, oa the average, but var- 
ied widely in composition. 

The dolomite tliat was used had the following average 
composition : 

Per cent. 

Silica 1.50 

Oxide of iron 0.60 

Alumina, 0.40 

Carbonate of line 54.00 Lime 30.81 

Carbonate of magnesia. 43.00 Magnesia 20.71 

The value of magnesia as a desiliconizer and desul- 

phurizer in the blast furnace is still somewhat in dis- 
pute, but the experience with dolomite here has proved, 

beyond question, that it can be used with great advan- 
21 



1 



322 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

tage. Dolomite has to a large extent supplanted ] 
atone in the Birmingham district within the last ye; 
a fliix on ordinary grades of iron, and is exclus 
U86d on basic iron. The amount of dolomite used 
ion of iron, varies, of course, with the amount of 
limy ore used. For basic iron the variation was 
0.12 ton with 81.2 per cent, limy ore and 38.8 per 
soft ore to 1.08 tons with 30. 2 per cent, limy ore, 
percent, soft, and 10.6 percent, brown ore. In pox 
per ton of iron, the variation, then, was from 26C 
2419.2, certainly a wide range, and one that show 
fluxing power of the limy ore to great advantage. 

When 268.8 lbs. were used the consumption of « 
ingredients, per ton of iron, was 2.64 tons of ore 
1.55 tons of coke, and the make of iron, under these 
ditions was 520 tons. When 2419.2 lbs. were used 
consumption of other materials, per ton of iron, was 
tons of ore, and 1.32 tons of coke, the make of ire 
ing 2068 tons. 

In making 7424 tons of basic iron the consumpti 
, tons per ton of iron was : 

Ore 2.10 

Dolomite 0.92 

Coke..- 1.23 

The ore burden being composed, in percent, as fol' 

Limy ore 36.1 

Soft ojre 42.6 

Brown ore 21.3 

And the total burden 

Limy ore 17.8 

Soft ore 21.0 






BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON. 323 

Brown ore 10.5 

Dolomite 22.0 

Coke 28.7 

This matter will be discussed more fully under the 
heading *Furnace Burdens.' 

FUEL. 

All of the basic iron is coke iron, tlie coke used being 
the ordinary 48 hour "bee-hive," made from washed 
slack-coal. The average analysis is as follows : 

Coke. Ash of Coke. 

Per Cent. Per Cent. 

Moisture 0.75 Silica .45.10 

Volatile matter 0.75 Oxide of iron 12.32 

Fixed Carbon 89.00 Alumina 31.60 

Ash 9.50 Lime 1.50 



100.00 Magnesia trace. 

Sulphur 1.00 Sulphur 0.10 

Phosphorus 0.02 

The ultimate strength of the coke is about 2000 lbs. 

for a 1-inch cube, and the compressive strain about 500 

lbs. The apparent specific gravity is 0.89, the true 

specific gravity 1.80, the percentage of cells by volume 

is about 45, and the volume of the cells in 100 parts by 

weight is about 47. In structure the coke is generally 

fine grained and close, and breaks into lumps rather 

than fingers. It is a small celled coke with strong walls, 

and carries a good burden, 1 lb. carrying as much as 

2.54 lbs. The consumption of coke, in tons per ton of 

iron, varies from 1.56 when using 64.6 per cent, limy 

ore, 35.4 percent, soft, and no brown to 1.05 when using 

60 pef cent, limy ore, 20 per cent, soft, and 20 per cenn. 



324 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

brown, the respective returns being based on 12?1 andl 
2934 tons of iron. 

It is much better to state the matter in this way than. 
to give the average over a long period during which the^ 
burden is changing constantly. 

When no brown ore is used the consumption of coke 
is high. For instance with 64% limy ore and 36% soft^ 
the make was 3521 tons, and the consumption of coke* 
per ton of iron, was 1.52 tons. With 81.2 per cent, limy 
ore, and 18.8 per cent, soft, the make was 520 tons, and 
the consumption of coke 1.55 tons. 

With 64.6 per cent, limy ore, 26.5 per cent, soft, and 

8.9 per cent, brown the make wa's 1140 tons, and the 
consumption of coke 1.24 tons. Lastly, with 36.1 per 

cent, limy ore, 42.6 per cent, soft, and 21.3 per cent. 

brown, the make was 7424 tons, and the consumption of 

coke 1.23 tons. Per pound of iron, then, the consump- 

tion of coke varies, according to the burden, from 1.36 

lbs- down to 1.18 lbs. 

Many other instances could be given but these are 
sufficient for the present purpose. 

Coko of the kind described above can be secured here 
in large and regular shipments. Daring the last few 
years great improvements have l)een made in the Birm- 
ingham district in the manufacture of coke, especially 
in utilizing slack-coal and the best coke now made here 
will compare favorably with the best cokf^ made any 
where else in the United States, as has been abundantly 
subsraniiatcd not only by chemical and physical tests, 
but also and particularly by furnace records. As re- 
garrls basic iron tliei'e are records of the production of 
more than 22,000 tons sliowing the average consumption 
of coke, p^^r ton of iron, as 1.26 tons. Considering the 
physical and chemical irregularities of the ore, points 
which have always to be borne in mind when discussing. 



BASIC 8TBBL AND BASIC IRON. 3% 

the blast furnace practice in the Birmingham district it 
i? a good result to obtain a pound of iron with 1.18 lbs. 

I 

of coke. 

FURNACB BURDENS. 

Let us now examine some what closely the furnace bur- 
dens, and their effect upon the quality of the iron » It 
is, of course, understood that these are only one of the 
elements entering into the subject. The physical and 
•chemical condition of the stock, the amount, pressure 
and heat of the blast, the rate of driving, etc., all in- 
fluence the quality of the iron. But as this paper deals 
chiefly with the raw materials used here in making basic 
iron, and designed to show when success has been reached 
in using local supplies of ore, stone and coke, we may 
be excused from enlarging upon the furnace practice, 
SuflBce it to say that the furnace producing the basic 
iron under consideration has the following proportions. 

Cubic area 11,865 ft. 

Height 80 ft. 

Diameter at bosh 17i ft. 

Diameter at crucible 11 ft. 

Stock line 14i ft. 

Bosh angle 81i deg. 

Three blowing engines, having each 36 revolutions per 
minute ; eight 6-in. tuyeres ; pressure of the blast 11 lbs ; 
temperature 1400 deg. F. ; amount of blast per minute, 
25,000 cubic feet. This furnace has produced 164 tons 
of basic iron in 24 hours, or 31 lbs. of iron per cubic 
foot of area., the average production being somewhat 
less than this. 

The following tables give the results of the examina- 
tion of the conditions attending the production of 30,222 
tons of basic iron made during the year ending Septem- 
^th, 1896. More than twice as much was made, but the 



326 GBOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA.* 

examples selected are in no wise exceptional, being chos- 
en for the sole purpose of exhibiting certain types of 
furnace burdens. Every cast during the year was anal- 
ysed for silicon, sulphur and phosphorus, and many also 
for manganese and the two carbons. For the first time 
in the history of iron-making in Alabama, a critical ex- 
amination of every cast of iron was insisted upon and 
faithfully carried out. 

The total number of days represented in the tables is 
195 ; of charges, 14,309, and the tons of iron, 30,222. 



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BAdtc Wrm^jj And bxsio i^aN. 3I2§ 

These tables Mrly represent ttie cotiditibiis, as to ore, 
^dolomite and coke, that were maintailied during the 
jprodiictidn of more thain 75,000 tons of biisic iron in tHe 
Birmingham district. What may be legitimatfely in- 
ferred from these results? In the first place atid prin- 
cipally that basic iron of excelletit quality has bee^ii 
made here of native materials and in large quantities. 
Secondly, that the choice of these materials and the 
proportions in which they are used are of great impor- 
ts ance in controlling the nature of the prodilct. 

What constitutes good basic iron? So much depends 
-c^n local requirements, and the purpose for which the 
iron is to be Used, i. e., whether in admixture with 
other iron, or by itself, that no reply applicable to all 
-<3ases can be made. As a rule, however, maximum lim- 
its can be assigned to silicon, sulphur and phosphorus, 
"which should not be exceeded under ordinary circum- 
stances. It is not customary to include in the specifica- 
tions the percentages of manganese, graphitic carbon, 
or combined carbon, but to limit the demands to silicon, 
sulphur and phosphorus. Probably there are but few if 
any basic open-hearth steel makers who would purchase 
stock carrying more than 1 per cent, of silicon, or more 
than 0.050 per cent, of sulphur, although they might 
concede a little as to silicon if the iron was to be used 
in connection with other stock low in silicon. The 
limit for silicon has to be set somewhere, and at 1 per 
cent, it is certainly low enough, and works no hardship 
to the producer. If it can be brought still lower so 
much the better 

If the producer of the iron were also the maker of 
the steel he could not afford to use pig iron of more than 
1 per cent, silicon, unless he enjoyed exceptional oppor- 
tunities for acquiring wrought iron and steel scrap. By 
stacking the iron above 1 per cent, in silicon, he could 



330 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

use it in mixture with his very low silicon iron, of which 
he. would probably make a great deal more than of the 
other. Putting the maximum silicon at 1 per cent., 
there are a greafter or a lesser number of casts, depend- 
ing largely upon the condition of the furnace and the 
skill of the furnace-man, that will exceed this figure. 
These casts can not be shipped under the contract, but 
could be used on the spot. An iron with even 1.10 per 
cent, of silicon can not be shipped under a contract lim- 
iting the silicon to 1.0 per cent., but if used at home 
could be mixed with iron carrying 0.40 per cent., or 0.60 
per cent., for steel making. 

It is greatly to the advantage of the pig iron producer 
to keep well within the limits of the specifications, sa 
as to allow for unavoidable irregularities in the working 
of the furnace. His purpose should be to keep the sili- 
con below 0.75 per cent. This is good practice if he is 
selling his product on analysis, and especially so if he 
is making steel himself, as the lower the silicon is kept 
the better can he use the iron that exceeds the limit. 

The silicon is not so apt to cause trouble as the sul- 
phur. Fewer casts show a tendency toward increase of 
silicon than toward increase of sulphur, and under 
nearly all circumstances the silicon is more easily con- 
trolled than the sulnhur. When the silicon falls the 
sulphur is apt to rise, but this tendency does not become 
serious until the silicon is below 0.30 per cent. 

The burden that shows the greatest tendency toward 
increase of silicon is No. 4, which carries the largest 
proportion of limy ore, and no brown ore. This burden 
also gave the highest sulphur. The average silicon on 
this burden was 0.87 per cent., and the average sulphur 
0:047 per cent. The charges on this burden were com- 
posed of 9300 pounds of limy ore, 2100 pounds of soft 
ore, 1000 pounds of dolomite, and 6500 pounds of coke. 



BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON. . S31 



( vt 



Taking the analysis as given, we find that there were 
in each charge the following amounts of lime and mag- 
nesia : In the limy ore, 1506.6 pounds of lime ; in the 
soft ore, 23.52 pounds ; in the coke, 6.50 pounds ; in the 
dolomite, 303.1 pounds of. lime and 207.1 pounds of 
magnesia; a total of 2046.82 pounds of flux, of which 
1839.72 pounds, or 89.9 percent., was lime. Calculating 
the silica in the same manner, we find it to be in the 
limy ore, 1249.92 pounds ; in the soft ore, 361.20 pounds ; 
in the coke, 293.15 pounds, and in the dolomite 15 
pounds; a total of 1919.27 pounds. Taking 1 part of 
magnesia as equal in fluxing power to 1.19 parts of lime, 
we may say that the 207.1 pounds of magnesia in the 
dolomite are equivalent to 246.44 pounds of lime, so 
that the lime-flux would be 2086.16 pounds. The silica 
to be fluxed is 1919.27 pounds, so that there is an ex- 
cess of 166.89 pounds of lime per charge above the ratio 
silica : lime=l :1. 

During the period under examination there were 279 
charges, with a production of 520 tons of iron, or 1.86 
tons per charge. The excess of lime is practically 167 
pounds per charge, so that the 520 tons of iron were ex- 
posed to the desiliconizing and desulphurizing action 
not only of the cinder but also of 46,593 pounds of lime 
not required for fluxing the silica. Each ton of iron 
was 'washed' with 89 pounds of lime. In spite of this, 
however, the tendency of the iron was decidedly toward 
an increase of both silicon and sulphur, and the, burden 
was changed. 

So much for No. 4. Let us now examine the results 
from a burden of exactly opposite tendency, the iron be- 
ing of particularly good [quality. We will select No. 
12. The charges under this burden were composed as 
follows : 



^2 GEOLOGICAt SUkvEY of AtAI^AM A . 

Pounds. 

Limy ore 3,500 

Soft ore 4,060 

Brown ore 2,000 

Dolomite .4,500 

Coke 5,500 

The ore burden and the total burden were, as per 
centages : 

Ore Total 

burden. burden. 

Limy ore 36.7 17.9 

Soft ore 42.2 20.5 

Brown ore 21.1 10.2 

Dolomite 23.1 • 

Coke 28.3 

The number of charges was 386, and the iron made 
was 781 tons, or 2.02 tons per charge. 

Lime per Silica per 

charge, lbs. charge, lbs. 

From limy ore 567.0 470.40 

'* soft ore 44.8 688.00 

' ' brown ore 16.8 224.40 

'* dolomite 1,472.5 67.50 

'* coke 5.5 248.05 



2,106.6 1,698.35 

We 'have then 2,408.3 pounds of lime in excess of 
that required for slagging the silica under the ratio 
silica :lime=l :1. In other words, the 781 tons of iron 
were subjected to a bath of 543,603 pounds of lime, and 
every ton of iron was ''washed' ' with 694 pounds of lime. 
The result was that the highest silicon found was 0.63 
per cent, and the lowest 0.27 per cent., the average being 
0.46 per cent. Contrast these results with those from 



BfASJC. ST^EJ. AND BASIC li^P^,. 333; 

No. 4, in which the silicon went to 0^94 per cent., the 
Ipi^rest l^eing Q^X4 per cent., and the average 0.87 per 
cent. The lowest silicon in No/ 4 is higher, than the 
highest in No. 12, while the average silicon in No. 4 is 
nearly twice as much as the average in No. 12. The dif- 
ference in the sulphur is also remarkable. In No. 4 the 
highest average sulphur was 0.056 per cent., the lowest 
0.042 per cent., and the general average 0.047. In No. 
12 the highest average sulphur was 0.037 per cent., the 
lowest 0.021 per cent., and the general average 0.028 per 
cent. Here also the highest average sulphur in No. 12 
is lower than the lowest in No. 4, and the general aver- 
age in No. 4 is 1.7 times as much as in No. 12. 

Basic iron carrying a maximum silicon of 0.63 per 
cent, and a highest average sulphur of 0.037 per cent, is 
certainly very good stock for the basic open-hearth steel 
furnace. 

But even in No. 12 the sulphur at times exceeded the 
limit of 0.050 per cent., 5 per cent, of the casts being 
above this, with the highest sulphur 0.063 per cent., the 
lowest 0.012 per cent., and the average 0.027 per cent. 
The expression highest average sulphur has been used. 
It means not the highest sulphur found, but the highest 
found by adding the sulphurs of each cast and dividing 
the sum by the total number of casts. For instance, in 
No. 12 the table shows the highest sulphur to have been 
0.037 per cent., but this itself is an average of all the 
No. 2 casts of that series. A.s a matter ot fact, 5 per 
cent, of the casts under No. 12 carried over 0.050 per 
cent, of the sulphur, but even then the results were a 
great deal better than with No. 4. 

There are records covering the production of 11,379 
tons of basic iron in which the maximum silicon was 
0.98 per cent., and the average 0.48 per cent., not a 
single cast being up to the limit and only a very few any- 



334 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

where near it. Of the 264 casts examined during this 
period only 15, or 5.7 per cent, rah over 0.050 per cent, 
sulphur, and then the maximum was 0.065 percent, and 
the average 0.031 per cent. 

Two niore illustrations will be given, one in which no 
brown ore was used, corresponding in this respect to 
No. 4, and the other with brown ore, corresponding 
similarly to No. 12. 
No. 1 burden : 

Ore burden. Total burden. 
Per cent. Per cent. 

Limy ore 64.00 33.1 

Soft ore 36.00 18.6 

Dolomite 14.5 

Coke 33.8 

Total burden in pounds : 

Limy ore 6,400 

Soft ore 3,600 

Dolomite 2,800 

Coke 6,500 

Number of charges, 1,848. Iron made, 3,521 tons. 

Lime of Silica of 

burden, lbs. burden, lbs. 

From limy ore 1,036.80 859.16 

" soft ore 40.32 619.20 

*' dolomite 1,538.35 42.00 

*' coke 6.50 293.15 

2,621.97 1,813.51 

In addition to the lime required for fluxing the silica ev- 
ery ton of iron made was washed with 425 lbs. of lime. 
The iron showed much less tendency toward high silicon 



BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON. 335 

and high f^nlphur than No. 4, but a much greater ten- 
-dency in this direction than No. 12. 
Finally, let us consider No. 6 : 

Ore burden, Total burden, 

Per cent. Per cent. 

Liray ore . . 36.2 17.8 

Soft ore 53.2 26.2 

Brown ore 10.6 5.2 

Dolomite 22.0 

Coke 28.8 

Total burden in pounds : 

Limy ore 3,400 

Soft ore 5,000 

Brown ore 1,000 

Dolomite 4,200 

Coke 5,500 

Number of charges, 1,099. Iron made, 2,068 tons. 

Lime of Silica of 

burden, lbs. burdeu, lbs. 

From limy ore 550.80 456.96 

** softore 56.00 860.00 

'' brown ore 8.40 112.20 

'' dolomite 2,307.90 63.00 

*' coke 5.50 248.05 

2,928.60 1,740.21 

Every ton of iron was washed with 627 lbs. of 
lime. The iron was of excellent quality, the average 
silicon being 0.59 %, and the average sulphur 0.028%. 
Not a single cast exceeded the limit in silicon, and only 
7.1 % exceeded it in sulphur, the highest sulphur being 
0.65 %. 

To sura up these four cases we may say : Total iron 
made, 6,890 tons from 3,612 charges. When the excess 



336 GBOJ4OGICAL gURyEX OF ALABAMA. 

ofJime Wfts 8.9:lb8. per.ton of. iron the silicon aud sul- 
phur both showed strong tendenjcies toward th(B ma;!u- 
mum allowed. When the excess of lime was 425 lbs., 
no brown ore being used, this tendenty was markedly 
diminished. In Nos. 1 and 4 no brown ore was used, 
the iron made was 4,041 tons, the excess of lime per 
ton of iron in No. 1 being 425 lbs. and in No. 4, 89 lbs. 
The quality of the iron from No. 4, with the small ex- 
cess of lime, was much inferior to that from No. 1 with 
the large excess of lime. In neither case was it as good 
as that from No. 6 and No. 12, both of which carried 
brown ore. Furthermore, in examining other cases, 
which need not be quoted, we find that when the excess 
of lime, with a brown ore burden, is no more than 425 
lbs. per ton of iron, the quality of the iron is better than 
when this excess is used with burdens containing no 
brown ore. In other words, brown ore is of a decided 
advantage irrespective, to a certain extent, of the excess 
of lime. The smaller excess of lime, with burdens com- 
posed of limy and soft ore, yielded worse iron than the 
L'lrgjr excess because the desiliconizing and desulphur- 
izing actions within the furnace were not sufficiently 
powerful, or while powerful enough, perhaps, within 
the sphere of their activo influence were not distributed 
ovf^r the entire mass of the iron. A slight excess of 
limo is not sufficient, there must bo a large excess, for 
when itrisos to 400 lbs. per ton of iron the results are 
much better than when it is about 100 lbs. per ton of 
iron. 

In the production of basic iron it is not sufficient that 
the cinder bo morc^ly basic ; it must bo basic enough to 
exort a powerful dosiliconizing and desulphurizing 
action, or the results will not be satisfactory. This is 
true irrespective of whether the action within the fut- 
nace is such as to hinder the reduction of silica, or to 



BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON. 337" 

cause an oxidation of silicon already reduced from the 
siliceous materials of the burden. It is possible that 
the former is the cause most in operation, for the highly 
reducing action of the gases in the lower parb of the 
furnace tends strongly toward preventing any consider- 
able oxidation of substances already deprived of their 
oxygen. 

It is possible that a very basic charge prevents the 
reduction of silica, while at the same time it either pre- - 
vents the absorption of sulphur by the iron, or removes 
the sulphur already absorbed. In the Saniter de- 
sulphurizing process the sulphur already combined with i 
the iron is removed in a bath of calcium chloride. It is 
slagged oflF as sulphide of calcium. In the blast furnace 
making basic iron the same result is accomplished in a 
diflferent manner with the attainment of practically the 
same result. 

Basic iron has been made with less than 0.20 per cent, 
of silicon, and less than 0.020 per cent, of sulphur, the • 
excess of lime per ton of iron being close to 700 lbs. 
We have had to depend upon the lime and the magnesia 
as desulphurizers, as the ores seldom carry more than 
0.30 per cent, of manganese. If the manganese ores 
proper, or manganiferous iron ores could be obtained at 
a reasonable cost the basicity of the burden might be 
diminished, provided siich a change did not tend to in- 
crease the silicon. But the purpose was to use the or- 
dinary materials of the district, such as are mined and 
used every day, and manganese ore is not among them. 
Whether it would pay to buy manganese ore at 18-20 
cents per unit f . o. b. mines in Georgia is an o ;)en ques- 
tion, and does not now concern us much. 

It will be noticed that the magnesia has beon calcu- 
lated as lime,^the magnesia of the dolomite being stated 

22 



338 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

ia terms of this base. It is more convenient to adopt 
this method for purposes of calculation, and when the 
Huxlng ratio between the two is given no confusion can 
take place. The ratio adopted is, as already stated 1 
magnesia = 1.19 lime. But irrespective of this ratio it 
has been found here that the exclusive use of limestone 
as a Hux in making basic iron is not advisable. The 
composition of the iron is neither so regular nor so good. 
This is true of limestone alone, and also of a mixture of 
limestone and dolomite. The available supply of dolo- 
mite is very large, and no fears need be entertained that 
it will not be sufiBcicnt for many years. 

It will also be noticed that no account has been taken 
of the alumina in the ores, flux and fuel. It cannot be 
stated positively what part alumii:a plays at such high 
temperatures, and in the presence of largo excess of lime 
and magnesia. At some temperatures it appear to re- 
<|uirc silica for its removal, and tho custom is to add 
siliceous soft ores to aluminous soft ores in the burden, 
when using or*" containing 5 per cent, to 7 per cent, of 
alumina for the ordinary grades of iron. Under such 
circumstances alumina is a base, and requires an acid 
flux, but it by no moans follows that it is always a base. 
The exact role of alumina in the blast furnace is a dis- 
puted question, and it may be that it is a base or an acid 
according to circumstances. Just whac these are, how 
brought about, and how controlled is beyond the prov- 
ince of this paper. If it be taken as an acid the forego- 
ing calculations as to the excess of base in the burdens 
would have to be modified considerably, the extent of 
such modifications depending upon the saturation point 
of the alumina with respect to lime, magnesia, and mag- 
nesia and lime. 

If we take the ratio of silica to alumina, under the 
usual cinder made, as 1:1 (as a matter of fact it seems 



BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON. 339 

to be 1:0.87) the excess of lime-magnesia also calcu- 
lated as lime — in No. 4, of 89 lbs. per ton of iron would 
entirely disappear, and in place of it we would have 336 
lbs. of silica and alumina per ton of iron. No. 4 bur- 
den would then be acdd, and it may be that the unsatis- 
factory results from it are to be attributed to this. Tak- 
ing the other hard — soft burden, No. 1, instead of 627 
lbs. of excess of base per ton of iron we would have 336 
lbs., and in No. 12, instead of 694 lbs. we would have 
425 lbs. of excess of base per ton of iron. 

These changes in the calculations do not alter the fact 
that a very basic burden is required for uniformly good 
basic iron. In fact, they strengthen this conclusion, for 
if the silica and alumina taken together may be regar- 
ded as the total acidity of the burden it is found, as 
before, that as we approach more and more closely to a 
neutral burden that quality of the iron begins to deter- 
iorate, and is at its worst when the line is passed and 
the burden becomes acid. On the other hand, as we ap- 
proach the maximum biisicity, consistent with fluidity 
of cinder and regular working of the furnace, the quality 
of the iron improves, and is at its best when the excess 
of base, per ton of iron, is between 400 and 600 lbs. 
This is one of the most important things in connection 
with basic iron practice, for it determines the efficiency 
of the desiliconizing and desulphurizing action that is 
to accomplished. The iron must be subjected to a basic 
bath, and the blast furnace is even better than a bath, 
for every particle of iron must trickle through the basic 
cinder, and be exposed on all sides to it? powerful act- 
ion, whether this be deterrent, as perhaps is the case 
with the silicon, or positive as is the case with the sul- 
phur. No exterior process for desiliconizing or desul- 
phurizing can be more effectual than the process within 
the furnace itself, provided the proper conditions are 



340 GBOLOGICAL SURVBY 6V ALABAUA. 

maintained. But it is not enough that the saturationt 
point of the acid element of the burden be reached ; 
this indeed is necessary, but unless there at the same 
time an excess of material which (a) can prevent the* 
combination of silicon and sulphur with iron, or (6) re- 
move them after they have entered the iron there can. 
not be made a regular and good quality of basic iron. 

The saturation of the acids and excess of base must 
go hand in hand. Whether the excess of base prevents 
the iron from absorbing silicon and sulphur, or whether ^ 
after they are once absorbed, it removes them, is of na 
special moment. Perhaps both these actions go on within 
the furnace, a deterrent action and a removing action, 
the one in the cooler and the other in the hotter zones .- 
If a furnace on basic iron is working cold we might ex- 
pect to find a decrease of silicon, and an increase of 
sulphur, and the main point in basic practice is to keep 
the furnace hot enough to lower the sulphur and cold 
enough to lower the silicon. This is largely a question 
of burdening and blowing. 

THE CONSUMPTION OF COKE. 

The consumption of coke is always the most interest- 
ing, as, perhaps, it is the most important, question in 
the manufacture of iron. It is by far the most costly 
raw material, and on this account economies in its use 
soon become evident. With coke at $1.75 per ton, each 
100 pounds saved represents ^a saving of 8.75 cents. If 
a furnace has been working on 2,500 pounds of coke per 
ton of iron, and can diminish this by 100 Jpounds, the 
saving on 150 tons of iron per day is [$13.12, which 
would pay the wages of the superintendent, the master 
mechanic and the chemist, or pay 6 percent, interest on 
the cost of building 250 coke ovens. 



BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON. 341 

In fche production of basic iron the consumption of 
-coke has varied from 2441.6 pounds to 3427 pounds per 
ton (2,240 pounds) of ifftn, the average being 2,979 
pounds, or 1.33 tons of 2,240 pounds. The tons used 
in all these statements are of 2,240 pounds, so that it is 
easy to pass from one to the other. 

Taking the cost of the coke as $1.96 per ton the varia- 
tion in the cost per ton of iron is from $2.13 to $2.99, or 
86 cents, the average cost being $2.60. The lowest coke 
consumption was on the following burden : 

Ore burden. Total burden- 
Per cent. Per cent. 

Hard ore 60.2 35.1 

Soft ore 19.9 11.7 

Brown ore 19.9 11.7 

Dolomite 11 .9 

Coke 29.6 

There were 2,033 charges, and 4,553 tons of iron were 
made, or 2.24 tons per charge. The consumption of 
coke per ton of iron was 1.09 tons, or 2,441.6 pounds. 
There were examined 126 casts, of which 94, or 74.6 
per cent, gave silicon below 1 per cent., and 89, or 70.6 
per cent, gave sulphur below 0.050 percent. The aver- 
age composition of the iron, below these limits, was 
silicon, 0.47 per cent.; sulphur, 0.030 per cent.; phos- 
phrus 0.73 per cent. 

The analysis of the stock was as follows : 

Limy Ore. Soft Ore. Brown Ore. 

Iron ....36.71 46.54 48.81 

Silica 12.59 19.19 11.00 

Alumina 3.15 3.00 3.25 

Liine 17.14 1.00 0.60 

. Phosphorus.. 0.35 0.30 0.40 

Sulphur 0.07 0.06 0.09 



342 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

Dolomite. Ash of Coke. 

Silica 1.95 45.10 

Lime 29.10 1.50 

Magnesia 19.20 trace 

Oxide of iron 0.40 12.32 

Alumina 0.60 31.60 

Sulphur 0.03 0.16 

The coke contained 11.32 per cent, of ash, and 0.91 
per cent, of sulphur. 

The consumption and cost of raw materials per ton of 
iron was : 

Tons. Dollars. 

Ore 2.19 1,765 

Dolomite 0.45 0,336 

Coke 1.09 2,429 

3.73 4,530 

The burden was not the same throughout this period,, 
but the average charge was as follows, in pounds : 

Limy ore 6,532 

Soft ore 2,276 

Brown ore 2,276 

Dolomite 2,234 

Coke 5,500 



• 



18,818 



Taking the analysis, as quoted, and considering the 
silica and alumina as the acid elements, we would have 
of acid and basic constituents the following : 

Acid, lbs. Sasic, lbs. 

From the limy ore 1,028.13 1,119.58 

^' '* soft ore 605.04 22.76- 

*' '* brown ore 324,33 13.65 



BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON . 343 

Acid. Basic. 

*' '* dolomite 56.96 1,160.34 

'' '' coke 425.68 9.34 



2,340.14 2,325.67 

By the method of calculation adopted this would be 
very nearly a neutral bur«ion. We cannot but think that 
the good quality of iron was due in great measure to the 
brown ore, for when this was omitted and the ore burden 
composed of limy ore and soft ore, the charge being 
basic, there was a noticeable falling oflF in grade. 

Let us now consider a case in which the consumption 
of coke was 1.53 tons, or 3,427 pounds per ton of iron. 
The burdens were as follows : 

Ore burden. Total burden. 

Per cent. Per cent. 

Limy ore 61.2 31.5 

Soft ore 34.3 17.6 

Brown ore 4.5 2.4 

Dolomite .... 15.1 

Coke 33.4 

The burden was not tlie same during this period, but 
the average charge was in pounds : 

Limy ore 6,245 

Soft ^* 3,314 

Brown ' * 512 

Dolomite 2,900 

Coke 6,500 



19,471 

The number of charges was 2,381, and the iron made 
4,500 tons, or 1.89 tons per charge. The consumption 



344 



GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 



and cost of materials per ton of iron were : 

Tons. Dollars. 

Ore 2.37 1,643 

Dolomite 0.70 0,219 

Coke 1.53 2,864 



4.60 4,726 
There was very little difference in the composition of 
the materials during this period and the one just con- 
sidered, and they may be taken as practically the same. 
In this latter case we have them, as the constituents of 
the burden : 





Acid 


Basic 




Pounds. 


Pounds. 


From the limy ore. . 


. 982.96 


1,070.39 


" '< soft " .. 


. 735.37 


33.14 


^* "Brown" . 


. . 72.96 


3.07 


" " Dolomite . . 


. 73.95 


1,506.26 


"Coke 


. 498.55 


97.50 



2,333.79 2,710.36 
There was an excess of base of 376.57 pounds per 
charge, so that each ton of iron was * washed ' with 197.12 
pounds of lime-base. There were examined during this 
perriod 120 casts of iron, of which 90, or 75 per cent., 
gave silicon below 1 per cent., and sulphur below 0.050 
per cent., the average of these 90 being as follows: 
silicon, 0.64 per cent.; sulphur, 0.031 per cent. ; phos- 
phorus, 0.71 per cent. 

So far as concerns the quality of the iron there is not 
much to choose between the results from 1.09 tons and 
1.53 tons of coke per ton of iron. 

But the lower yield of the best iron obtained from the 
latter burden, viz., 9.1 per cent., makes it less desirable^ 
even if the diflference of cost of 19 cents per ton of iron, 
-were not considered. 



BASIC STEEL AND BASIC IRON. 345 

As it is, however, the burden carrying much less 
Tbrown ore and requiring much more coke is handicapped 
^with a difference of 19 cents per ton of iron, and a 9.1 
per cent, less yield of the best iron. In considering the 
matter further it was found that even with an excess of 
lime-base in the burden the yield of the best iron was 
'S per cent, less when the burden was slightly acid but 
carried over 19 per cent, of brown ore. 

If now we examine the table relating to the use of 
limy and soft ores it will be seen that with hard-soft 
burdens only 17.5 per cent, of the iron was made with a 
coke consumption as low as 1.48 tons per ton of iron, the 
average being 1.52 tons. With burdens in which brown 
ore formed a notable proportion only 6 per cent, of the 
iron was made with a coke consumption as high as 1.48 
tons per ton of iron, the average being 1.24. * 

As a rule, brown ore burdens will require 600 pounds 
l©ss of coke per ton of iron than burdens carrying no 
^rown ore. 

In the production of ordinary grades of iron the best 
burden is the burden that will yield at the least cost the 
greatest amount of the most saleable iron. In the pro- 
duction of basic iron the same principle maintains but 
in a much greater degree, for this iron is sold on analy- 
sis, and every cast not up to the specifications must find 
another maket. 

The production of basic iron in Alabama is a settled 
industry, and will grow with the demand for basic open- 
hearth steel. It is made exclusively of native materials, 
which exist in large quantities. The cost of these mate- 
rials, per ton of iron, should not exceed $5.00, and may 
Ido brought to $4.50. Putting tha operating expenses at 
:$2.00 per ton, certainly a fair estimate, the total expense 
should not exceed $7.00. 

The production of basic iron in the United States in 



346 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 

1896 and 1897, according to Mr. J. M. Swank, was a& 
follows in tons of 2,240 pounds : 

1896. 1897. 

Pennsylvania 219,863 350,068 

yj^f^^* I 73.604 97,562 

Alabama ) ' 

New England ) 

New York, V 22,692 79,141 

New Jersey, ) 

Sr^^ . \ 20,244 29,720- 

Wisconsin S ' 

336,403 556,491 
Virginia and Alabama are grouped together, but cer- 
tainly the production of Alabama alone would not fall 
much short of 50,000 tons; and about 40,000 tons for 
1897. 

The returns for 1897 under New York and New Jer- 
sey include also New England. Virginia and Alabama 
include Maryland. Ohio and Wisconsin include Illinois 
and Missouri. 



CHAPTER Xr. 

FURNACES, ROLLING MILLS, &c. 

Coke Furnaces in Alabama. 

(From the Directory of the Iron and Steel Works in 
the United States, Amer. Iron and Steel Assoc. Phil a., 
1898. Jas. M. Swank, Manager.)* 

Clifton Furnaces, Clifton Iron Company, Ironaton, 
Talladega county; two stacks; No. 1, 55xJ3, changing 
to 70x16, built in 1884, blown in April 16, 1885; No. 2, 
60x14, built in 1889-90, and blown in during 1891; 
built to use charcoal for fuel, but changed to coke in 
1895; six Cowper stoves ; fuel, Alabama coke ; ore, local 
brown hematite; product, foundry pig iron; total an- 
nual capacity, 72,000 gross tons. Brand, ''Clifton." 
T. G. Bush, President, Anniston ; Augustus Lowell, 
Vice-President, Boston, Mass.; C. L. Pierson, Treas- 
urer, Boston, Mass. ; Paul Roberts, Secretary and As- 
sistant Treasurer, Ironaton. Selling agents, Matthew 
Addy and Co., Cincinnati ; C. L. Pierson & Co., Boston 
and New York. 

Fort Payne Furnace, DeKalb Furnace Company, 
Fort Payne, DeKalb county. One stack, 65x14, built 
in 1889-90 and blown in September 3, 1890; three Sie- 
mens-Cowper-Cochrane stoves; fuel, coke; ores, red 
and brown hematite , product, forge and foundry pig 
iron; annual capacity, 27,000 gross tons. (Formerly 
operated by the Fort Payne Furnace Company). A. L. 
Tayles, President; E. Dudley Freeman, Treasurer. 
Idle and for sale. 



348 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

Gadsden- Alabama Furnace, Gadsden, Etowah county ; 
one stack, 75x16, built in 1887-88, and first blown in 
October 14, 1888 ; three Whitwell stoves ; fuel, coke ; 
ores, local red and brown hematite; product, foundry 
and basic |pig iron ; annual capacity, 35,000 gross tons. 
Brand, *'Etowah." Owned by Thomas T. Hillman, 
George L. Morris and Mrs. Aileen Ligon, of Birming- 
ham. Idle, and for sale or lease. 

Hattie Ensley Furnace, Colbert Iron Company, les- 
see, SheflBeld, Colbert county; one stack, 75x17, built in 
1887 and blown in December 31st, 1887 ; three Whit- 
well stoves; fuel, coke; ore, local brown hematite; 
product, foundry pig iron, annual capacity 48,ooo gross 
tons. Brand, "Lady Ensley." A. A. Berger, Presi- 
dent: Wade Allen, Vice-President ; J. V. Allen, Secre- 
tary and Treasurer ; A.J. McGarry, Manager. Selling 
agents. Rogers, Brown & Co., Cinti., N. Y., &c. 

Mary Pratt Furnace, W.T. Underwood, Birmingham, 
Jefferson county. One stack, 65x14, built in 1882, and 
first put in blast in April, 1883 ; rebuilt in 188H ; three 
Whitwell stoves; fuel, coke; ores, local brown and red 
fossiliferous ; annual capacity 30,000 gross tons. Brand, 
"Mary Pratt.'' Idle for several years. 

Philadelphia Furnace, Florence Cotton andiron Com- 
pany, Florence, Lauderdale county. Main office, 330 
Walnut St., Philadelphia^ One stack, 75x17, com- 
menced by the W. B. Wood Furnace Company in 1887, 
and completed by the present company in 1890-1 ; three 
Whitwell stoves, each 70x20; fuel, coke; ore, brown 
hematite from Lawrence county, Tenn.; product, foun- 
dry pig iron ; annual capacity 45,000 gross tons. Brand, 
^'Philadelphia." Robert Dornan, Vice-President; James 
Pollock and William H. Arrott, committee for bond- 
holders ; E. Cooper Shapley, attorney, Girard Building, 
Phila. For sale. Idle since 1893. 



t-URNACES, ROLLING MILLS, ETC. 849 

ioneer Furnaces, Pioneer Mining and Manufa.cturing 

opany, Thomas, Jefferson county ; two stacks, each 

:16.5 ; No. 1 built in 1886-88, and blown in May 15, 

^8; No. 2 built in 1889-90, and blown in February 

ad, 1890; eight Siemens-Cowper-Cochrane stoves; 

3l, Alabama coke; ores, red and brown hematite from 

e company's mines.near the furnaces; product, foundry 

g iron; total annual capacity 95,000 gross tons. 

rand, "Pioneer." Edwin Thomas, President, and 

amuel Thomas, Vice-President, Catasaqua, Penna. ; 

reorge H. Myers, Secretary and Treasurer, Bethlehem, 

^enna. Selling agents, Matthew Addy and Co., Cincin- 

xati ; W. R. Thomas, 50 Wall St., N. Y. , Dallett & Co., 

201 Walnut Place, Phila. 

Sheffield Furnaces, Sheffield Coal, Iron and Steel 

Company, Sheffield, Colberfc County. Three stacks, each 

75x18, built in 1887-88; No. 1 blown in during Sept., 

1888, and No. 2 blown in during Oct., 1889 ; No. 3 not 

yet blown in ; Nos. 1 and 2 rebuilt in 1891 ; nine Whit- 

iwrell-Cowper stoves ; fuel, Alabama and Virginia coke ; 

ores, Alabama and Tennessee brown hematite ; product, 

foundry pig iron ; total annual capacity. 150,000 gross 

tons. Brand, ''Sheffield." A. W. Willis President, 

E. W. Cole, Vice-President, T. D. RadclifFe, Secretary, 

Sheffield; S. B. McTyer, Treasurer, J. J. Gray, Jr., 

Superintendent, Sheffield. Selling agents, Rogers, 

Brown and Co., N. Y., Miller, Wagoner, Feiser & Co., 

Columbus, Ohio.; Hickman, Williams & Co., Louis- 

A^ille, Ky. 

Sloss Furnace, Sloss Iron and Steel Company, Bir- 
mingham, Jefferson County. Four stacks: No. 1, 
82.25x18, built in 1881-82, put in blast April 12th, 1882, 
and rebuilt in 1895 ; No. 2, G8xl8, built in 1882 : No. 3, 
73x16.5, built in 1887-88, and blown in during Oct., 
1888; No. 4, 73x16.5, built in 1887-89, and blown in 



350 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

during Feb., 1889; five Whitwell, eight Gordon- WL^ife. 
well-Cowper, and three two-pass 18x70 stoves; {vm^^l^ 
coke; ores, red fossiliferoiis, hard and soft, and bro -wn 
hematite; ores and coal mined on the company's prop- 
erty within ten to fifteen miles of furnaces ; product, 
foundry and mill pig iron ; totol annual capacity, 200,- 
000 gross tons, Brand, *' Sloss." Sol Haas, Presi- 
dent; E. W. Rucker, Vice-President; J. W. McQueen^ 
Secretary, A. H. McCormick, Treasurer. Selling agents 
D. L. Cobb, Louisville and Chicago : Rogers, Brown an 
Warner, Phila. ; Hugh W. Adams and Co., 15 Beek-* 
man St., N. Y. 

Spathite Furnace, The Spathite Iron Company, Flor- 
ence, Lauderdale County. One stack, 75x14, completed 
in December, 1888, and blown in during in during Oct., 
1889 ; rebuilt in 1893; three improved Pollock stoves; 
fuel, coke ; ores, spathite and brown hematite from Iron 
City, Tenn.; product, spathite pig iron ; annual capac- 
ity, 30,000 gross tons. Brand, ''Spathite." (For- 
merly called North Alabama Furnace.^ J. Overton 
Ewin, Receiver; J. H. Short, Superintendent. Selling 
agents, Rogers, Brown & Co., Cincinnati. Sold Nov. 
25th, 18U5, to Louisville Banking Company. Louisville, 
Kentucky. Idle and for sale. 

Spathite Furnace, No. 1, Spathite Iron Company, 
Nashville, Tenn. Furnace at Birmingham. One stack, 
G5xl5i ; commenced building February 9, 'J890; blown 
in August 23, 1890; remodeled in 1897; three Massicks 
and Crooke stoves ; fuel, Alabama coke ; ores, spathite 
and brown ; product, spathite pig iron ; annual capac- 
ity, 40,0U0 gross ton. (Formerly called Clara Furnace) , 
Thomas Sharp, President (died 1898) ; William M. Dun- 
can, Vice-President; John P. Helms, Secretary and 
Treasurer. 

Talladega Furnace, Talladega Furnace Company, Tal- 



FURNACES, ROLLING MILLS, ETC. 351 

ladega, Talladega County. One stack, 72x18, built in 
1889, and blown in October 5th, 1S89 ; three Ford and 
Moncur stoves, each G2x26 ; fuel, Alabama and West 
Virginia coke ; ore, local brown hematite ; product, Bes- 
semer, foundry and forge pig iron; annual capacity, 
40,000 gross tons. Brand, ' ' Talladega." Rudolph Gut- 
mann, President; William P. Parrish, Secretary. Idle 
for several years. 

TrMinessce Coal, Iron and Railroad Company, Bir- 
]iiinghain, Jefferson Coun:iy. Thirteen stacks in Jeffer- 
son Cjiinty. Five stacks at Bessemer: Nos. 1 and 2, 
each 75x17, built in 1886^87 ; No. 1 put in blast in 1888, 
and No. 2 in 1889; seven Whifcwell stoves; Nos. 3 and 
4, each 75x17, built in 1889-90; eight Whitwell stoves; 
No. 5, or Little Belle, 60x12, built in 1889-90, three 
Whitwell stoves. 

Oxmoor Furnaces, at Oxmoor, (formerly called Eu- 
reka Furnaces) two stacks: No. 1 75x17, completed in 
July 1877, aqd rebuilt and blown in during Dec. 1885 ; 
No. 2, 75x17, first blown in ia March, 1876, and rebuilt 
and blown in during Aug., 18S6 ; seven Whitwell stoves. 
Fuel, Pratt and Blue Creek coke, made in Company's 
ovens ; ores, local brown hematite and red fossiliferous 
from the company's mines; product, foundry, mill and 
basic open-hearth pig iron; total annual capacity, 
126,000 gross tons. Brand, '' DoBardeleben." 

Alice Furnaces, at Birmingham, two stacks : No 1, 
75x15, built in 1879-80, and put in blast November 23d, 
1880 ; raised to present height in 1890 ; three Gordon- 
Whitwell-Cowper stoves ; No. 2, 75x18, built in 1883, 
and put in blast July 24th, 1883 ; three Whitwell stoves ; 
brand, "Alice,'' product, basic and foundry pig; an- 
nual capacity, 113,000 tons. 

Ensley Furnaces, at Ensley. Four stacks, each 
80x20, built in 1887, 1888, and 1889; No. 1 blown in 



852 GEOLOGICAL SUBVBY OF ALABAMA. 

March 19. 1889; No. 2, December 1st, 1888; No. 3^ 
June 5th, 1888, and No. 4 April 9th, 1888 ; four Gordon- 
Whitwell-Cowper stoves to each furnace. Brand, '* En- 
gley." Fuel, Pratt coke made in the company's ovens ; 
ores, red and brown hematite from the company's mines 
product, foundry, and forge pig iron ; annual capacity of 
Alice Furnaces 113,000 gross tons ; of Ensley furnaces, 
292,000 tons. Total annual capacity of the thirteen 
stacks, 823,000 tons. N. Baxter, Jr., President; James 
Bowron, 1st Vice-President and Treasurer; A. M. Shook^. 
2d Vice-President; George B. McCormack, General 
Manager; T. F. Fletcher, Jr., Secretary and Assistant 
Treasurer; H. D. Cooper, Auditor; Erskine Ramsay, 
Chief Engineer ; John Dowling, Superintendent of Bes- 
semer Division • A. E. Barton, Superintendent of En- 
sley Division. Selling agents, Rogers, 'Brown & Co., 
Cincinnati, and branch houses; Matthew Addy & Co.,. 
Cincinnati and St. Louis. 

Trussville Furnace , Trussville , Jefferson County . One 
stack, 65x18, built in 1887-89, and blown in in ApriU 
1889 , three Whitwell stoves : fuel, Alabama coke ; ore, 
local red hematite ; product, foundry pig iron ; annual 
capacity, 30,000 gross tons. Brand, '^Trussville." 
Owned by Messrs. Hogsett, Ewing and Thompson, Un- 
iontown. Pa. 

Williamson Furnace, Williamson Iron Compay, Birm- 
ingham, Jefferson county. One stack, 65x13.66, built 
in 1886, and first blown in in October, 1886; three Mas- 
sicks and Crooke stoves ; fuel, coke made at Coalburg ; 
ores, red fossil and brown hematite ; product, foundry 
and mill pig iron; annual capacity 18,000 gross tons. 
Brand, * 'Williamson." C. P. Williamson, President 
and General Manager; H. I). Williamson, Vice-Presi- 
dent; J. B. Simpson, Secretary and Treasurer. Idle 
since 1892. 



FUBNACES, ROLLING MILLS, ETC. 35S 

Woodstock Furnaces, The Woodstock Iron Works^ 
Anniston, Calhoun county. Two stacks, each 75x16^ 
built in 1887-89, and one blown in October 10th, 1889 ;: 
seven Whitwell stoves ; fuel, Alabama coke ; ore, local 
brown hematite; product, foundry pig iron; annual 
capacity of No. 4, 60,000 gross tons. Brand ''Wood- 
stock." John D. Probst, President, and George Glover^ 
Secretary, New York ; H. Atkinson, Vice-President and 
Treasurer, and A. H. Quinn, Assistant Treasurer, Annis- 
ton. 

Woodward Iron Company, Woodward, Jefferson- 
county. Two stacks, each 75x17, one built in 1882-88,. 
and put in blast in August, 1883, and t.he other built in 
1886 ; eight Whitwell stoves ; fuel, coke made from the 
company's coal ; ore, red fossiliferous, mined within, 
three miles of the furnace ; specialty, foundry pig iron •,; 
total annual capacity, 100,000 grosis tons. Brandy 
"Woodward." J. H. Woodward, President; Frank M. 
Eaton, Secretary; Silas Hine, Treasurer; J. H. Mc- 
Cune, General Superintendent. 

Number of coke furnaces in Alabama, 37 completed 
stacks, and 1 stack partly erected. 

Annual capacity of coke furnaces in Alabama, 1,965,- 
000 gross tons. 

Number of coke and bituminous furnaces in the Uni- 
ted States, 247; annual capacity 15,114,700 gross tons^ 

Alabama has 15.0 per cent, of the total number of 
coke furnaces, 10.8 per cent, of the total annual capaci- 
ty, and produces 16.0 per cent, of the total amount of 
coke iron. 

Dividing the period 1876-1895 into 4 sub-periods of 
5 years each we have the following comparisons : 

1876-1880, coke furnaces built 4 ; production in 1876, 
1,262 tons; in 1880, 35,232 tons; increase 33,970 tons, 
or 28 times. 

23 



354 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

1881-1885, coke furnaces built 6; production in 1S81, 
48,107 tons; in 1885, 133,808 tons; increase, 85,701 
tons, or 2.78 times. 

1886-1890, coke furnaces built 29 ; production in 1886, 
180,133 tons; in 1890, 718,383 tons; increase 538,250 
tons, or 3.99 times. 

1891-1895, no coke furnaces built. 

The greatest activity was displayed in the period 1886— 
1890, as of the 3.) completed staeks in 1895, 23 or 74.5 
per cent, were built during these years. It was not un- 
til 1888 that the production of coke iron passed the 200,- 
000 ton mark, and not until 1889 did it rise above 500,- 
000 tons, and assume respectable proportions. Until 
1897 the year 1895 witnessed the largest production of 
coke iron ever recorded in the State, 835,851 tons, ex- 
celling the output of 1892 by 11 tons. 

Of the 835,851 tons 387 ,793 tons, (46.4 per C3nt.) were 
made during the first half of the year, 18 furnaces being 
in blast June 30th, and 448,058 tons (53.6 per cent.) in 
the second half, 20 furnaces being in blast Decei;nber 
31st. 

The 60,265 tons made in the second half of the year 
in excess of the output during the first half may be 
taken as representing the increase due to the upward 
tendency of prices which seemed to be genuine about 
that time. 

The production of coke iron since 1876 is given in the 
following table : 



FURNACES, ROLLING MILLS, ETC. 



355 



TABLE XLIX. 

Production of Coke Iron in Alabama. — Tons of 2240 

pounds,. 



Year. 



i87b 

1877 
1878 
1879 
1880 
1881 



Tons. 


Year. 


l,L^62 


1882 I 


14,643 


lvS83 1 


15.G15 


\HM ; 


15,937 


1885 i 


35,23-* 


18S6 1 


48.107 


1887 ! 



Tons. 

51,093 
102,750 
1 10,264 
133,808 
180,133 
176.374 



Y'ear 



Tons. 



Year. 



1888 
1889 
1890 
1891 
1892 
1893 



317,289 
603,034 
718,388 
I w,o8i 
835.840 
659.725 



Charcoal Furnaces in Alabama, 



Tons. 



1894 I 556,314 

1895 . 835,851 

1896 892.383 

1897 ' 932,918 



[From the Directory to the Iron and Steel Works in the United States, 
American Iron and Steel Association, Phila. Jas. M. Swank, Man- 
ager. ] 

Attalla Furnnce, Buffalo Iron Company," Nashville, 
Tenn. Furnace at Attalla, Etowab county. One stack', 
35x11, built in i888-8<), and blown in June 15th, 1889; 
iron stoves ; ores, red and brown hematite from EtowaH 
and Cherokee counties; product, car-wheel pig iron; 
annual ca[)acity, 18,000 gross tons. Brand,' ^^Attalla." 
Robt. Ewing, President; J. A. Cooper, Secretary and 
Treasurer. Idle since "1892. 

Bibb Furnace, Alabama Iron and Steel Company^ 
Brierfield, Bibb county. One stack, 55x12, built in 
1864 to use charcoal ; rebuilt in 1881, and remodeled in 
1886 to use coke; returned to the use of charcoal in 
1890; re-built in 1892 ; warm blast; ore, brown hema- 
tite, mined in the vicinity ; product, car-wheel pig iron; 
annual capacity, 14,500 gross tons. Brand, '^Bibb.'* 
T.J. Peter, President. Selling agents, C. R. Baird A 
Co., Phil., De Camp & Yule, St. Louis ; Forster, Hawes 
<fe Co., Chicago. Idle since 1894. 

Clifton Furnace, Clifton Iron Company, Ironaton, 
Talladega county. One stack, No. 2, 60x14; built in 



SS6 GEOtOGlCAL SUIRVEY 6T ALABAMA. 

1889-90, and blown in in 1891; hot blast; ore, locaf 
brown hematite ; product, car wheel and malleable prg 
iron; annual capacity, 22,000 gross tons. Brand, 
'^Clifton." (Siee Coke Furnaces) . 

Jenifer Furnace, Jenifer Furnace Company, Jenifer, 
Talladega county. Central office , Anniston. One stack,,. 
56x11, built in 1892, and blown in December 5th, 1892,. 
taking the place of the old stone stack built in 1863 • 
two Hugh Kennedy stoves, each 45x16 ; ore, local brown 
hematite ; product, car- wheel pig iron ; annual capacity^ 
12,000 gross tons. Brand, * 'Jenifer." (One stack, built 
in 1863, abandoned and dismantled in 1872.) John H. 
Noble, President, and John E. Ware, Secretary and 
Treasurer, Anniston. Selling agents, Rogers, Brown <fc 
Co., Cincinnati, and St. Louis; C. R. Baird & Co.,.. 
Phila. 

Rock Run Furnace, Rock Run Iron and Mining Com- 
pany, Rock Run, Cherokee county. One stack, 54.5x1 1.5^- 
built in 1873-4, enlarged in 1881 and 1892, and rebuilt la 
1894; warm blast; ore, local brown hematite; product^, 
car- wheel pig. iron; annual capacity, 15,000 gross tonsv. 
Brand, ''Rock Run." J. H. Bass, President, J. I. 
White, Secretary, and F. S. Lightfoot, Treasurer, Fort 
Wayne, Indiana; J. M. Garvin, Superintendent, Rock: 
Run. 

Round Mountain Furnace (formerly called Round 
I^ountain Iron Works), the Round Fountain Furnace 
Company, lessee, Chattanooga , Tenn . Furnace at Round 
Mountain, Cherokee county. One stack, 45x9.5, built in. 
1853, robuilt in 1874 and remodeled in 1888 ; cold blast; 
ore, red fossilliferous ; specialty, cold blast charcoal pig 
iron for chilled rolls and car-wheels ; annual capacity, 
6,500 gross tons. Brand, "Round Mountain.'' L. S. 
Colyar, President; Jo. C. Guild, Vice-President; E. 
Shackelford, Secretary; E. B. Pennington, Superin- 



FURNACES, R0IJ;-];NG Ml^IiS, ?sxc. 357 

"tendent Selling ageats, Rogeirs, Brown & Co., Cincin- 
nati, and branch houses; J. E. Carcright, St. Louis. 
Owned by the Elliott Pig Iron Company, Gadsden. 

Shelby Furnaces, Shelby Iron Company, Shelby, 
Shelby county. Two stacks, Nos. 1 and 2, each 60x14, 
built in 1863 and 1873; No. 1 rebuilt in 1889; warm 
l)la8fc; ore, brown hematite obtained on the furnace prop- 
-erty ; product, car- wheel pig iron; total annual capacity, 
40,000 grosstons. Brand, "Shelby.'' T. G. Bush, Presi- 
dent, Anniston ; B. Y. Frost, Secretary, and W. S, 
Gurnee, Treasurer. 80 Broadway, N. Y. ; E. T. With- 
erby, Assistant Treasurer, Shelby. Selling agents, 
Matthew Addy & Co., Cincinnati; C. L. Pierson & Co., 
Boston and New York. 

Number of charcoal furnaces in Alabama, 8 completed 
•stacks, and 1 stack partly erected, annual capacity, 12,- 
800 gross tons. Number of charcoal furnaces in the 
United States, 79; annual capacity, 957,400 gross 
itons. Dividing the period 1.376-1895, as under coke 
^furnaces, into four sub-periods of five years each, we 
•liave the following comparisons : 

1876-1880— Charcoal furnaces built, 1 ; output in 1876, 
20,818 tons; in 1880, 33,693 tons; increase, 21,875 or 
1.62 times. 

1881-1885 — Charcoal furnaces built, 2 ; output in 1881, 
39,483 tons ; in 1885, 69,261 tons ; increase, 29,778 tons, 
or 1.65 times. 

1886-1890— Charcoal furnaces built, 4 ; output in 1886, 
73,312 tons, in 1890, 98,528 tons, increase, 25,216 tons, 
or 1.34 times. 

1891-1895 — Charcoal furnaces built, 2 ; ontputin 1891, 
77,985 tons ; in 1895, 18,sl6 tons, decrease 59,169 tons, 
or a little more than three-fourths. 

Of the twelve completed charcoal stacks in 1895, 4, or 
.33 per cent, were built in the period 1886-1890, two in 



358 



GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 



1873, one in 1874, and the others as above. In char — 
Goal, aa in coke furnaces, the greatest activity was dis — 
played during the period of 1886-1890, although th^ 

activity in coke furnaces was much more pronounced 

Alabama has 7'2,5 per cent, of the total number of char — 
coal furnaces, 15.3 per cent, of the total annual capac — 
ity, and made in 1895 8.3 per cent, of the total produc — 
tion of charcoal iron. 

The charcoal iron industry has been declining for 
several years. It reached its maximum in 1889, with 
93,595 tons. At that time Alabama was producing 17.1 
per cent, of the total, and was second in point of pro- 
duction. 

The statistics of production are given in the following 
table : 

TABLE L. 

Product of Charcoal Iron in Alabana. Tons of 2,240 

Pounds. 



Year.l 


Tons, j 


Year. 


Tons. 1 


Year. 


Tons. 


Year.l 


Tons. 


]872' 


11. mi 


1878 


21.422' 


1884 




1880 




1873! 


19.g85j 


1K7H 


28.563, 


18Kfi 


as. 261 


1891! 


77.685 


1874: 


29,342l 


IRSn 


33.763, 


iftae 


73.312 


18B2I 


79.456 




22.4181 


1881 












1876! 


20.R1SI 


IHK'.- 


49.S90 


IhH^ 


84.041 


1891 


36.078 


1877. 


22 ISO 


1883 


51.2371. 


ISSE 


08.59 j 




lfl,8l6 



TABLE LI. 
Hot Blast Stoves in Alabama — 1896-i 



1 


111 




I'll 1 




11 


1 


i 


1 


? 


1 
1 


^ 


J 
1 


6 


i 




1 


K 




« 


1 
1 


1 







4,41 3| 2. 2181122. 8! 21 


1 51 ai 4.4! 31 2.2!tl[ 8 1 


66 


47-8 


91 e 6 


186 



FURNACES, ROLLING MILLS, ETC. 359 

Rolling Mills, Steel Woi'ks, Etc., in Alabama. 

(From the Directory of the Iron and Steel Works in 
the United States. American Iron and Steel Assoc, 
Phil., 1898, Jas. M. Swank, Manager). 

Alabama Iron and Steel Company (formerly Brierfield 
Rolling Mill), Brierfield, Bibb county. Built in 1863, 
rebuilt in 1882-3, and pufc in operation in August, 1883 ; 
10 double and 4 single puddling furnaces, 5 heating fur- 
naces, 3 18-inch trains of rolls and 72 cut nail machines ; 
product, merchant bar iron and nails ; annual capacity, 
12,000 gross tons. E. J. Peter, Secretary. 

Alabama Rolling Mill Company, Birmingham, 
Jefferson county. Works at Gate City, Jefferson 
county. Built in 1887-88 and put in operation in Feb- 
ruary, 1888; 23 single puddling furnaces, 2 gas heating 
furnaces, and 3 trains of rolls (18-inch muck and 8 
and 16-inch bar); products, bars, bands, hoops, light 
T rails, &c.; annual capacity, 24,000 gross tons. W.J. 
Behan, President; W. H. Hassinger, Vice-President 
and General Manager; D. M. Forker, Secretary and 
Treasurer. 

Alabama Steel Works (formerly Fort Payne Rolling 
Mill), The DeKalb Company, lessee. Fort Payne, De- 
Kalb county. Built in 1889-90 ; two lo-gross ton basic 
open-hearth steel furnaces ; first steel made in July, 
1893 ; 4 gas heating furnaces, 5 cut-nail machines (idle) , 
and 2 trains of rolls (one 2-high 32-inch reversing and 
one 22-inch nail plate) ; product, ingots, blooms, billets 
and slabs ; annual capacity, 10,000 gross tons of ingots. 
Fuel used, producer gas. J. A. Wilder, President; J. 
K. Lanning, Vice-President and Treasurer. 

Anniston Rolling Mills, Anniston Iron and Steel Com- 
pany, lessee, Anniston, Calhoun county. Built in 
1890-91 ; 12 single puddling furnaces, 2 large heating 



360 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP ALABAMA. 

furnaces and 2 trains of rolls (3-high, 20-inch muck an 
3-high 12-inch finishing). J. K. Dimmick, President^ 
H. B. Cooper, Vice-President and General Manager^ 
John S. Mooring, Secretary and Treasurer. Owned bjr 
the Anniston Rolling Mills Company. 

Bessemer (The) Rolling Mills, Bessemer, Jefferson 
county. Built in 1887-88 ; 24 single puddling furnaces, 
6 heating furnaces, 5 trains of rolls (one 20-inch muck, 
one 8-inch guide, and 16 inch car, one 22-inch sheet, 
and one 26-inch plate) , and three Siemens gas producers; 
l^roduct, bar, guide, plate and sheet iron ; annual capac- 
ity, 27,000 gross tons. Owned by Morris Adler, of Bir- 
mingham, and others. Idle since the spring of 1891, 
and for sale. 

Birmingham Rolling Mills, Birmingham Rolling .Mill 
Company, Birmingham, Jefferson county. Built ia 
1880, and first put into operation in July, 1880 ; enlarged 
in 1887 and 1895; 11 double and 24 single puddling 
furnaces, one scrap furnace, seven gas, four box anneal- 
ing, two pair and four sheet heating and annealing 
furnaces, and nine trains of rolls, (two 8-inch guide, 
one 16-inch bar, two 18-inch forge, two 24 inch sheet, 
one 26-inch plate, and one 24-inch finishing^ ; product, 
iron and steel bar«^, plates, sheets, angles, round-edge 
tire, small T rail, fish plates, &c.; annual capacity, 
70,000 gross tons. Fuel used, producer gas and coal. 
Two 30-ton basic open hearth steel furnaces were built 
in 1897, and the first heat made July 22, 1897. 
James G. Caldwell, President; Thomas Ward, General 
Manager; J. D. Dwyer, Superintendent; J. H. Mohns, 
Salesman. 

Jefferson Steel Company, Birmingham, Jefferson 
county. Built in 1889-90 ; one 15-gross ton basic 
open-hearth steel furnace ; first steel made April 14, 
1890; product, ingots; annual capacity, 8,100 gross 



FURNACES, ROLLING MILLS, ETC. 361 

^^s. Brand, '* Jefferson." (This furnace takes the 
^^^ce of one experimental Henderson open-hearth steel 
*^rnace built in 1887-88, and first steel made February 
^*7,1888. Formerly operated by the Henderson Steel 
Manufacturing Company.) Eugene F. Enslen, Secre- 
tary, Treasurer and General Manager. 

Sheffield Rolling Mill, Sheffield, Colbert county. 
Built in 1897-98, utilizing machinery from the d.ban- 
doned Midway Iron Works and Roanoke Rolling Mill, 
Roanoke, Virginia; 12 double puddling furnaces, 5 
heating furnaces, and 4 trains of rolls (one 3-high 18- 
inch muck and billet, one 3-high 16-inch bar, and two 
10-inch guide) ; product, bar, angle, rod and band iron, 
small size T rails, D links and cotton ties, railroad and 
boat spikes; annual capacity, 20,000 gross tons. Fuel, 
bituminous coal. 

Shelby Rolling Mill Company (formerly Central Iron 
AVorks) , Helena, Shelby county. Works started in 
March, 1873 ; enlarged by present company in 1889 ; 10 
single puddling furnaces, three heating furnaces and 
four trains of rolls ; product, merchtint bar and band 
iron, ana light T rolls; annual capacity, 7,200 gross 
tons. Company failed; works idle for several years. 
Address, Joseph F. Johnston, Birmingham. 

Illinois Car and Equipment Company, Anniston, Cal- 
houn county. Chicago office, 1480 Old Colony Build- 
ing; New York office. 45 Broadway. Built in 1884 
and enlarged in 1888-89, and 1893 ; one single and six 
double puddling furnaces, six heating furnaces, one 
scrap fcirnace, two trains of rolls (one 18-inch muck 
and bar, and one 10-inch merchant and guide), and five 
hammers (one 6,000 pound, two 4,000 pound, and two 
helve); product, car axles and merchant bar iron ; an- 
nual capacity, 15,000 gross tons. David Cornfoot, 
President, London, England; H. A. Ware, Vice-Presi- 



3B2 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 

dent, New York ; S. M. Dix, Secretary and Treasurer,, 
J. M. Maris, General Manager, Chicago ; 0. M. Stinson, 
General Superintendent, Anniston. 

Steel Works Projected, 

The Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company, inr 
connection with other capital, will erect a large basic 
open-hearth steel plant during 1897-98. Location, Ens- 
ley, Jefferson county. 

Number of rolling inills and steel works in Alabama : 
Ten. Of these, three have basic open-hearth steel plants. 

No steel was made in the State in 1894, 1895, or 1896, 
The total amount made from 1888 to the close of 1893- 
will not exceed 4,000 gross tons. 

Annual capacity of rolling mills, 193,300 grross ton& 
with one mill not reporting. Allowing 10,000 grosa 
tons for this one, the total annual capacity is 123,300 
gross tons. 

Number of contemplated rolling mills and steelworks 
in the United States, January 1, 1898, 504; annual 
capacity, double turn, 17,929,850 gross tons. 

Forges and Bloomaries. 

Anniston Bloomary, Cherokee Iron Company, Cedar- 
town, Georgia. Works at Anniston, Calhoun county^ 
Built in 1887 ; five forge fires and one hammer ; steam^ 
power; product, blooms made from pig iron. Idle. 
Wm. C. Browning, President, and J. Hull Brownings 
Treasurer, 408 Broome steert,New York ; J. R. Barber, 
Secretary and General Manager, Cedartown, Georgia- 
No w abandoned. 



FURNACES, ROLLING MILLS, ETC. 36? 

Pipe Works, Car Wheel Works and Miscellaneous. 

Bridge Building Works. 

Southern Bridge Company, Birmingham. Works at 
^"Vondale, Jefferson county. Capacity, 1,000 tons. 

Alabama Bridge and Boiler Works, Birmingham. 
Railroad and highway bridges. Annual capacity, 1,500 
tons. 

Gas and Water Pipe Works. 

Anniston Pipe Works, Anniston Pipe and Foundry 

Company, Anniston, Calhoun county. Size from 3 to 
30 inches. Daily melting capacity, 350 tons. 

Chattanooga Foundry and Pipe Works, Chattanooga, 
Tenn. Works at Bridgeport, Jackson county. Sizes, 
from 14 to 36 inches, inclusive. Daily melting capacity, 
160 tons. 

Howard-Harrison Iron Company, Bessemer, Jefferson 
county. Sizes, from 3 to 72 inches, inclusive. Daily 
melting capacity, 300 tons. 

Soil and Plumbers' Pipe Works. 

Alabama Pipe Company, Bessemer, Jeflferson county. 
Sizes, from 2 to 10 inches, inclusive. Daily melting ca- 
pacity, 30 tons. 

Birmingham Soil Pipe Works, Birmingham Soil Pipe 
Company, Birmingham, Jefferson county. Sizes, from 
2 to 8 inches. Daily melting capacity, 10 tons. 

Hoffmann, Billings, and Weller Manufacturing Com- 
pany, 96-100 Second St., Milwaukee, Wis. Works at 
Gadsden, Etowah county, Ala. Sizes from 2 to 12 
inches. Daily melting capacity, 40 tons. 



364 GEOliOGlCAL SUHVflY OF jLhAB^MA. 

Hercules Foundry, E. L. Tyler & Co., lessees, Annis- 
ton, Calhoun county. Sizes, from 2 to 18 inches. 
Daily melting capacity, 50 tons. 

Car Axle Works. 

Peacock's Iron Works, George Peacock, Selma, Dal- 
las county. Iron and steel mine car axles. Annual 
capacity, 15,000. 

Illinois Car and Equipment Company, Anniston, Cal- 
houn county. Office, 1480 Old Colony Building, Chi- 
go; 66 Beaver street, N. Y. Car and locomotive axles. 
Daily capacity, 120. 

Car Wheel Works. 

Decatur Car Wheel and Manufacturing Company, 
Birmingham. Product, chilled, cast-iron wheels. An- 
nual capacity 125,000. 

Elliott (the) Car Company, Gadsden, Etowah county. 
Product, charcoal iron standard M. C. B. railroad 
wheels. Annual capacity, 48,000. 

Hood Machine Company, Birmingham, JelBFerson 
county. Product, 12, 14 and 16-inch mine car wheels. 
Annual capacity, about 14,000. 

Peacock's Iron Works, George Peacock, Selma, Dal- 
las county. Product, all kinds of small car wheels. 
Annual capacity, 35,000 self-oiling and 15,000 plate 
wheels . 

Carbuilding Works. 

Elliott (the) Car Company, Gadsden, Etowah county. 
Freight cars. Annual capacity, 3,600. 

Peacock's Iron Works, George Peacock, Selma, Dal- 



FURNACES, ROI^LING MILLS, BCT. 3®5 

las county. Mine, logging and other small cars. An- 
nual capacity, 5,000. 

Union Iron Works Company, Selma, Dallas county. 
Logging, push, cane and other small cars. Annual ca- 
pacity, 1,000 of each. 

Illinois Car [and Equipment Company, Anniston. 
Offices, 1480 Old Colony Building, Chicago; 66 Beaver 
street, N. Y. Annual capacity, 12,000 freight cars at 
each place. 

Alabama Bridge and Boiler Works, Birmingham. 
Iron, steel and wooden tram cars and all styles of cars 
for blast furnace use. Annual capacity, from 500 to 
1,000. 



366 



GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA. 



TABLE LII. 

Production of Iron Ore, Coal, Coke and Pig Iron in 

Alabama. 



03 



Iron Ore. 
Tons of 
2,240 lbs. 



Coal. Coke. 

Tons of I Tons of 
2,C00 lbs. 2,000 lbs 



i870i 

1871 

1872 

1873 

1874 

1875 

1876 

187Z 

1878 

1879 

18H() 

1881i 

1882! 

188:31 

18841 

1885 

1886 

1887 1 

188S: 

1889 

ISOT) 

1801 

1 8 '8 
1S01 
1895 
1S9H 
1897 



11,350, 



22.000' 
39,000' 

58,000' 

44,000 

44.000; 

70,000, 

75,000 

90,000 

171, 139' 

220,0(X). 

250,000, 

.385,000 

42(),00iJ; 

5 5,000 

65o,(y)o; 

675,0<K) 

i,ooo,rK)0 

1,570.0(:() 
1,8*17,815 
1.9S(5,830, 
2.312,07!! 
1,742,4101 
1,493,0M*, 
2,199,390 
2,041,793 
2.050.014 



13,200' 
20,000 
30,000 
44,8a) 
50.400 
67,200 

U'2,m) 

19C,(XX) 

224,000 

280.000 

380,000 

420,000. 

896.000! 

1,568, 000; 

2,240.000' 

2,492,aK) 

1,800,(KKJ 

1,950 001) 

2.900,000 

3.572.9S3 

4.090.409; 

4,759,78l! 

5,529,312 

5,136.935 

4,H97,178 

5,693.775 

5.745.6:7 

5.K9H.77I 



Pig Iron Tons of 
2,240 lbs. 



Coke. C/harcoal 



Total. 



60,781 

109,033 

152,940 

217.531 

244, a )9 

SO 1,1 80 

375,054! 

325.020 

508.511 

1.030.510 

1.072,942 

1,282,496 

1,50 1,57 1 1 

1,16K,0S5. 

9J3.8I7 

1.441.339 

I,r)S9.703 

1 .S95 i>.Vi 



1 .262 

14.643 

15,615 

15.937 

35,232! 

48.107 

5 1 .093 

102.750 

116.264 

133,^08 

180,133 

176,374! 

3I7.2S9; 

608.0341 

71.^.:J^3| 

717.()S7; 

8.35.810. 

659,725^ 

556,314 

835, H5 1 

892,383 

932.918 



11,1711 

19,895i 

29,342; 

22,418, 

20,818; 

22,180' 

21.422, 

28,563; 

33,693 

39,483 

49,590 

51,237 

53,078, 

69,261 

73,312 

85.020, 

84,011 

98,595 

98.528 

77,985! 
79,456| 
67,1113 
3t),07Sj 
18,8161 
29.7871 
14.9131 



11,171 

1 9,895 

29,342 

22,418 

22,080 

38,823 

37 037 

44,500 

68.925 

87,590 

100,683 

153,987 

169.342 

203,069 

253,445 

261,394 

401,330 

706,629 

S!6,9ll 

795.672 

915.296 

726,888 

592,392 

854,687 

922,170 

947.831 



Freiglit tariff for pig iron, per tun, in carload lots of 
not less than 17i tons of 2,lG8 pounds from the fol- 
lowing points in Alabama, effective February 24th, 
1898: Anniston, Attalla, Bessemer, Birmingham, 
Boyles, Brierfieid, Columbiana, Ensley, Gadsden, 
Ironaton, Jenifer, North Birmingham, Oxmoor, Rock 



FURNACES, ROLLING MILLS, ETC. 367 

Run, Rouad Mountain, Shelby, Talladega, Tecumseh, 
Thomas, Trussville, Woodward — 

189G. To 1898. 

$ 1.30 Atlanta, Ga... .$ 1.30 

Baltimore, Md., all rail. 3.76 

3.60 '* '* rail and water 3.10 

Boston, Mass., all rail 5.33 

4.10 '' '* rail and water.. 3.60 

4.40 Buffalo, N. Y 3.85 

*Chattanooga, Tenn 0.75 

2.75 Cincinnati, Ohio 2.25 

3.90 Cleveland, Ohio 3.30 

3.85 Chicago, 111 3.10 

Columbus, Ohio 2.90 

Denver, Col 9.19 

3.95 Detroit, Mich 3.40 

Galveston, Texas . . 5 .97 

5.10 Hamilton, Canada 4.30 

Kansas City, Mo 4.40 

2.50 Louisville, Ky 2.00 

Minneapolis, Minn. . . . 4.95 

2.o0 Mobile Ala., export 1.00 

Montreal, Canada 5.60 

^Nashville, Tenn 1.00 

2.50 New Orleans, La., export ! . . . 1.60 

Newport News, Va 2.?5 

3.75 NewYork,N.Y.,j^l^^ --;;;;; in 

Norfolk, Va 2.35 

Omaha, Neb 4.50 

4.75 Philadelphia, Pa., all rail 4.02 

" *' rail and water 3.25 

*From Birmingham. 

Pensacola, Fla., export 1.00 



366 



GBOLOGICAL SUBYBT OF ALABAMA. 



4.40 Pittsburg, Pa 3. 

14.47 Portland, Oregon 12. 

San Francisco, Gal 12. 

2.90 Savannah, Ga 2. 

3.25 St. Louis, Mo 2. 

5,10 Toronto, Canada 4. 

Youngstown, Ohio 3. 

From the SheflBeld District the all-rail differential 
40 cents under the Birmingham rate. 

The distances from Birmingham to these points 
about as follows : 

From Birmingham to Distance in Mil 

Atlanta 167 

Baltimore .... 1,050 

Boston 1,450 

Buffalo 950 

Chattanooga 143 

Cincinnati 504 

Cleveland 767 

Chicago 656^ 

Columbus 630 

Denver 1,400 

Detroit 766 

Galveston SOO 

iKarailton 976 

Kansas City 850 

^ Louisville 394 

Minneapolis 1 ,050 

Mobile 276 

Montreal 1,600 

Nashville 209 

New Orleans 417 

Newport News .... 800 

New York 1,225 



i'URNACBS, ROLLING MILLS, E*C. 306 

Norfolk 775 

Omaha 1,000 

Pensacola 260 

Philadelphia 1,150 

Pittsburg . . 817 

Portland 3,675 

San Francisco..... 3,000 

Savannah ........ 448 

St. Louis 528 

Toronto 996 

Youngstown 875 

The pig iron produced in Alabama goes into almost 
^Very State of the Union, and into many foreign coun- 
ti-ies. The transportation rates, therefore, are most im- 
portant to the stability of the industry. Taking' the 
figures given in the preceding statements as to the rates 
nnd the distances, it will be found that the highest rate 
per ton-mile from the Birmingham district is to Atlanta, 
a distance of 167 miles, to which point the rate is $1.30, 
or 7.78 mills per ton-mile. The lowest rate is to Louis- 
Tille, a distance of 394 milus, to which point the rate is 
92.00, or 1.97 mills per ton-mile. 

As it might be of some interest to know what the 
rates per ton-mile are for pig iron, the following table 
has been constructed, based on the above rates and dis- 
tances, and all rail freights. 

TABLE LIII. 

Giving the freight rates per ton-mile on pig iron from 

the Birmingham district to points as below, in mills. 

Atlanta 7.78 

Baltimore , 3.58 

Boston 3.68 

Buffalo 4.05 

34 ... . 



•i J 



370 GEOLOGICAL SURVSY QF 4L49A1C|l. 

Chattanooga 5.24 

Cincinnati 2.24 

Cleveland 4.30 

Columbus 4.60 

Denver 6.56 

Detroit 4.44 

Galveston 7.46 

Hamilton 4.51 

Kansas City 5.18 

Louisville 1 .97 

Minneapolis 4.71 

Mobile 3.62 

Montreal 3.50 

Nashville 4.78 

New Orleans 3.83 

Newport News 2.94 

New York 4.19 

Norfolk 3.08 

Omaha 4.50 

Pensacola 3.85 

Philadelphia 3.50 

Pittsburg 4.53 

Portland 3.49 

San Francisco 4.28 

Savannah 6.47 

St. Louis 5.21 

Toronto *. 4.32 

Youngstown . 3.77 

Freight tariff for coal and coke in efitectin the Spring 
of 1898, from Birmingham to 

Atlanta, Ga $1.05 

Augusta, Ga 1.80 

Charleston, S. C 2.05 

Columbia, S. C 2.20 



to k » 



FURNACES, ROLLING MILLS, ETC. 371 

)us, Miss 1.05 

Texas 4.75 steam coal, $4.95 coke. 

), Texas 6.44 

ille, Miss 1.15 

Q, Texas 2.90 coal, $8.55 coke. ' 

Ga 1.50 

111, Miss 1.15 

Ala 1.50 

raery, Ala 1.10 

leans, La 1.40 steam coal, $1.60 coke. 

)la, Fla ,. 

:ih, Ga . . 1.80 

1.00 

3ort, La 2.15 

arg, Miss 1.55 

rate to Mobile $1.10 

'' ^' New Orleans. .1.40 

'' ** Pensacola 1.10 

ne rates hold for export. 

3 rates are per ton for carload of not less than 

of 2,000 pounds. 



Alabama Coal in By-product Ovens 115 

Axle Works 364 

Basic Iron, Burdens 320-345 

Basic Iron, Composition of 315 

Basic Iron, Cost of 314 

Basic Iron, Firms using 305 

Basic Iron, Manufacture of . .305-345 

Basic Iron, Production of 346 

Basic Iron, Specifications for 311-314 

Basic Steel 290 et seq . 

Basic Steel, Chemical and Physical Tests. .292, 297-302 \ 

Basic Steel, First Production of 290 I 

Basic Steel, Materials for 304 j 

Basic Steel, Report of Committee on, in 1890 293 j 

Bessemer Ore, not found 17 ' 

Bessemer Rolling Mill 291 j 

Bessemer Steel, Statistics of 309 j 

Big Stone Gap Coke, Analysis of 84 

Birkinbine, John, Statistics of Iron Ore 30 

Birmingham Rolling Mill Company, Basic Steel. . . .296 

Black Creek Coal, Calories of 242 

Black Creek Coke, Analysis of. 80 

Blair, A. A., Analysis of Iron Ore 44 

Blast Furnace Burdens 67, 141-165 

Blast Furnace, First in Alabama 8 

Blast Furnace, List of 345 et seq. | 

Blauyelt, W. H., Sem6t-Solvay Ovens 123-139 

Blocton Coal, Calories of 242 

Blocton Coke, Analysis of 84 

Blue Billy Iron Ore 61 

Blue Creek Coal, Calories of 144 



I 



la 



s 

\ 



\ 



374 

Page. 

Blue Creek Coke, Analysis 78-81 

Brannon, W. H., Grading Pig Iron 169-173 

Bridge Works 363-365 

Brookside Coke, Analysis of 85 

Cahaba Coal, Calories of 242 

Campbell, H. H., on Basic Steel 298 

Campbell Coal Washer 218 

Carapredon's Method of Testing Coking Coals 131 

Carbon, deposited in Coking 101-104, 130 

Carbonic Acid, Removal of, from Limy Ore 2*<3-285 

Carbuilding Works 364 

Charcoal Furnace Practice '. 164 

Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 
Coa 



Analysis of 244-246 

Area 201 

Beaver Creek, Pa., Analysis of.. 246 

Blue Creek, Ala., Analysis of .244 

Carnegia, Pa. , Analysis of 246 

Clinton, Pa., Analysis of 246 

Henry Ellen, Ala., Analysis of 244 

Hoytdale, Pa., Analysis of 246 

Mary Lee, Ala., Analysis of 244 

Pocahontas, Va., Analysis of 246 

Pratt, Ala., Analysis of 244 

Pratt, Ala., in Byproduct ovens 115-120 

Pratt, Ala., in Bee-hive ovens 96, 1 00-110 

Thacker, Pa., Analysis of 246 

West Va. , Analysis of 246 

Colorific Power of • 240-246 

Changes of, in Coking 109 

Coking, Campredon's Method of Testing 131 

Freight Tariff on . .371 

Mines, Statistics of 202-217 

Prices of . 803 



S' I 



376 

Page. 

Coa], Production of 202, 366 

Coal, Ultimate Analysis of 100, 109, 244 

Coal, Used in Coking. . 221 

Coal, Washing Plants 218 

Coal Washing, Results of 223-234 

Coke, Analysis of 78-88 

Coke, Ash, Analysisof 78, 87-88 

Coke, Bee-hive 93-111 

Coke, By-product 115-139 

Coke, By-product, Structure of 128 

Coke, By-product, Use of in Blast Furnace. 129 

Coke, Changes of Coal in Making 109 

Coke, Classification of 76 

Coke, Connellsville, Analysis of 83 

Coke Consumption 89, 141-163 

Coke Furnaces 139, 345 

Coke Furnace Practice 141-163 

Coke from Lump Coal, Analysis of 87 

Coke from Run-of-Mines Coal, Analysis of 86 

Coke from Washed Slack, Analysis of 87 

Coke Oven Gas, Analysis of 107, 1 17-119, 136 

Coke Ovens, Statistics of 92 

Coke, Otto-Hoffman 115-120 

Coke, Physical Structure of 78- -^8, 101-107 

Coke, Production of 92, 366 

Coke, Semet-Solvay , 123-139 

Coke Yield of Pratt, in Bee-hive Oven 96-100 , 110 

Coke Yield of Pratt, in By-product Oven 117-119 

Concentration of Low-grade Ores 247, et seq. 

Connellsville Coke, Analysis of 83 

Connellsville Coke compared with By-product ) iqq^iqo 
Coke/ \ 

Crellin & Nails 391 

Davis-Colby Ore Kiln 283 



376 

Page. 

DeBardeleben, H. F 11 

Dewey, F. P. on Coke 106 

D'Invilliers, E. V. Comparison of some Southern ) . 
Coke and Iron Ores ) 

Dolcito Dolomite Quarry H9 

Dolomite, Analysis of 64 

Dolomite, First Use of 69 

Dolomite, North Birmingham Quarry TO 

Dolomite, Use of, as Flux 70-75 

East No. 2 Ore Mine .37 

Ebelmen, on Coke Oven Gas 107 

Fleming:, H. S., General Description of the Ores } - 
Used in the Chattanooga District ) 

Forges and Bloomaries 362 

Fort Payne, Basic Steel at 2^6 

Fossil Red Ore Mines 43 

Freight Tariff 367-36S 

Fulton, John , On Coke ^3 

Furnace Burdens 67, 143-165, 320-345 

Furnaces, Charcoal 355-357 

Furnaces, Charcoal, When Built 357 

Furnaces, Coke 347-355 

Furnaces, Coke, When Built 353-354 

Furnaces, Directory of 347-35S 

Gas Carbon , Analysis of 80 

*'Gouge," The 37 

Gogin, Mr 293 

Grace's Gap 37 

Hancock, David, Analysis and Tests of Basic Steel. .301 

Hard Red Ore, Analysis of 52 

Hassinger, W. H., Member of Committee to Re- ) oqq 
port on Basic Steel ! \ ^^"^ 

Hawkins' Process of Steel Making 296 

Head, Jeremiah, On Birmingham District 235-24Q 



377 



Page. 

Helena Coal, Calories of 242 

Hematite Ores 35-54 

Henderson Basic Open Hearth Furnace 31r3 

Henderson Steel and Manufacturing Co 2^^0-293 

Henry Ellen Coal, Analysis of 242, 244 

Hillhouse, Jas. D., Statistics of Coal and Coke ^2 

HiUman, T. T 11 



HoflFman 

Iron Ore 

J^on Ore 

Jron Ore 

^rou Ore 

J^oa Ore 

^^on Ore 

^^•oci Ore 

^^on Ore 

^^om Ore 

^^on Ore 

I^oxi Ore 

I^<^ii Ore 

■'^^<:>n Ore 

■'^^•^n Ore 

^:Dn Ore 

^n Ore 

■^■*^5>n Ore 

^^^on Ore 

■^^^on Ore 

^^on Ore 

^Ton Ore 

^ron Ore 

^ron Ore 

Iron Ore 

Iron Ore 



Concentrator 256 

Analysis of Brown 57 

Analysis of Hard Red (Limy) 52 

Analysis of Soft Red 44 

Analysis of Blue Billy 61 

Analysis of Mill Cinder 61 

for Basic Iron 315, 317, 31V* 

Basis of Purchase 21-24, 58 

Black-band 16 

Brown, (Limonite) 54, 57 

Classification of :....' 35 

Concentration of Brown 285-289 

Concentration of Hard Red(Limy) . .278 et seq 

Concentration 24'. -289 

Concentration by Wetherill Process. 265 et seq 

Geology of : 35 

Hard Red, (Limy) Nature of 50 

High Phosphorus 312 

Phosphoruain 17-18 

Prices of 143 

Production of 19, 20, 30, 366 

Relation Between Hard and Soft 281 

Section of Deposit of 38, 42, 281 

Screening of Brown 60 

Valuation of. 33-34 

Washing of Brown .... gg 



J , 



378 

Page. 

Iron Trade Review, Statistics from 32 

Je^flferson Coke, Analysis of 80 

Jefferson Mining & Quarrying Co. (Dolomite) 69 

Jefferson Steel Co 318 

Johnston, A. B. Member of Committee to report ) ^^ 
on Basic Steel ] ^^ 

Johnston, H. R. Member of Committee to report } o^^ 
on Basic Steel ] ^^ 

Landreth, 0. H. Calorific Power of Fuels 242 

Leeds, P , Member of Committee to Report on ) ^00 
Basic Steel \ ^^^ 

Lentscher, G. L. Member of Committee to report ) ^qq 
on Basic Steel S^^"^ 

Limestone, Analysis of ** 62 

Limonite Ores 54-60 

Littlehales. Thos. G 117 

Luthy, Dr., Analysis of Pratt Washed Slack Coal. . .116 

McCreath, A. S., Comparison of some Southern ) - 
Cokes and Iron Ores S 

Magnetization of Ores 24^ et seq 

Manganese Ore 305 

Mary Lee Coal, Calories of 244 

Mason, Dr. Frank, Analysis of Pratt Washed ; -^^ 
Slack Coal \ ^^^ 

Meissner, C. A. , First to Use Dolomite 69 

Mill Cinder 61 

Morris, Geo. L 11 

Netze, H. B. C, on Concentrating Ore 266 

North Birmingham Dolomite Quarry 70 

Open Hearth Steel, Statistics of 309 

Parker, E. W. Statistics of Coal and Coke 20-2-.217 

Parsons, W. P 117 

Payne Concentrator , . . . 256 

Pechin* E. 6., Articles on Alabama ...,.>..! 




379 



Pig Iron 
Pig Iron 
Pig Iron 
Pig Iron 
Pig Iron 
Pig Iron 
Pig Iron 
Pig Iron 
Pig Iron 
Pig Iron 
Pig Iron 
Pig Iron 
Pig Iron 
Pig Iron 
Pig Iron 



Page. 

Pechin, E. C. Cost of Making Iron in Alabama. . . . .187 

166-199 

Basic, Composition of 315 

Bessemer 167 

Charcoal, Production of 35S 

Coke, Production of 355 

Cost of Making 187-199 

Exports of 184 

First Used in Making Basic Steel 294 

Freight Tariff 366-370 

Grades of 168 

Grading, Agreement of 1888 176 

Grading, New System Suggested 181 

Prices of 173 

Production of 21, 366 

Variation in Composition of 177 

Pipe Works 363 

Pittsburg Gas & Coke Co 115 

Pocahontas Coke, Analysis of ^4 

Poole, Calorific Power of Fuels 245 

Porter, Jno. B. Iron Ores and Coals of Georgia, ) . 
. Alabama and Tennessee ) 

Pottstoun Iron Co., Thomas Steel 308 

Pjatt Coal, Analysis and Calories - 242-244 

Pratt Coke, Analysis 78-81 

Producer Gas Analysis . . .'. 253 

Ramsav, Erskine, Pratt Mines of the Tenn. C. I. 
& Ry. Co 

Robertson, Kenneth, Analysis of Pig Iron 74 

Robertson, Kenneth, Grades of Pig Iron 175 

Robinson-Ramsay Coal Washer 218, 223, 226 

Rolling Mills 359-362 

St. Bernard Coke, Analysis of 85 

Schniewindj F \ 115-117 



380 

Page. 

Sleep, W. J 183 

Sloss, J. W 11 

Sloss Iron and Steel Company, Dolomite 70 

Sloss Iron and Steel Company, Coal tests for. . . .115-120 

Smith, Dr. Eugene A., On Coal Area 201 

Soft Red Ore, Analysis of 44 

Soft Red Ore, Section of Seam ? 38, 42, 281 

Speakman, Wm 117 

Standard Coke, Analysis of 80 

Steel Works 359-361 

Stein Coal Washer 218-232 

Stonega Coke, Analysis of 85 

Stoves, Hot Blast 358 

Swank, Jas. M., Statistics from 21 

Thomas Iron, Manufacture of 308 

Troy Steel & Iron Co 308 

Uehling, E. A. Use of Dolomite 70 

United States Geological Survey, ) go, 21, 30, 33, 34, 92 

Statistics, ) * ' ' ' ' 

Warrior Coal, Calories of 242 

Washing Brown Ore 55 

Washing Coal 218 et seq 

Weeks, Jos. D., Death of 91 

^etherill Concentrator 247 et seq 

Wilkens, H. A. J., Concentrating Ore •.266 

Wilson H. F. Secretary Henderson Steel & Mfg. Co. 290 
Worthington, J. W. A Co 69 



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